PetersSPRINGFIELD — State Senator Robert Peters advanced legislation to enhance access to health care services and protect the rights and interests of consumers through a comprehensive plan that targets key issues within health insurance plans.

"This legislation makes health care more accessible and transparent," said Peters (D-Chicago). "It also ensures accountability for large insurance companies that have gone unchecked by making certain they receive proper oversight.”

House Bill 5395 addresses "ghost networks," which occur when networks list providers who are not taking new patients, do not accept the patient’s insurance or are retired. Further, it extends the ban on unjustifiable insurance rate increases to large group plans in Illinois, ensuring access to affordable care.

Peters’ legislation will improve health care accessibility and eliminate unnecessary barriers by banning prior authorization for mental health treatment, mandating the public disclosure of treatments requiring prior authorization, and prohibiting short-term, limited-duration health plans, which often exclude pre-existing conditions and leave people vulnerable to high medical bills.

“We are taking a crucial step toward protecting the rights of consumers,” said Peters. “This has the ability to build a health care system that works better for everyone.”

House Bill 5395 passed the Senate Insurance Committee on Tuesday and now heads to the full Senate for further consideration.