koehler halpin peters 051023SPRINGFIELD – Members of the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus outlined their plans to make health care more accessible through proposals to cap the cost of EpiPens, make hearing aids free-of-charge, and help patients find the most cost effective avenues to care.

Epinephrine Auto-Injectors are the only medication that works on the entire body to combat anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal allergic reaction. However, since 2017, a global shortage of these devices has made this medication increasingly difficult to obtain. That’s why State Senator Mike Halpin is leading House Bill 3639 to limit the EpiPens to a maximum of $60 per twin-pack.

“This is a major victory for families struggling to afford this life-saving medication,” said Halpin (D-Rock Island). “With corporate profits at an all-time high, it’s time to say enough is enough. People’s lives shouldn’t depend on whether or not they can come up with $500.”


Meanwhile, members of the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus believe Illinoisans shouldn’t have to face financial burdens for something that is necessary for a high quality of life – like hearing aids.


State Senator Dave Koehler is championing House Bill 2443 to require insurance providers to cover hearing aids and related services for people of all ages.

“If your doctor prescribed medication to you, it would be covered by your insurance. Hearing aids should be no different,” said Koehler (D-Peoria). “By requiring Illinoisans to pay for hearing instruments out-of-pocket, they are not only forced to pay for such a large financial burden, they may not be able to afford it.”

The costs associated with health care upkeep are high, especially for those with pre-existing conditions and those who don’t have medical insurance. State Senator Robert Peters is also leading a measure to help connect patients to financial assistance for hospital costs.

House Bill 2719 would require hospitals to screen a patient for financial assistance eligibility and exhaust all cost-reducing avenues before taking a collection action against the patient. Additionally, the measure would provide a 90-day window for a patient to apply for financial assistance or hospital-provided discounts after receiving care.

“Cost savings programs that are available aren’t always promoted enough to folks who are financially vulnerable,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “Hospitals aren’t always equipped with the resources to inform patients of financial assistance programs. This measure seeks to support both hospitals and hospital patients in a way that benefits the entire community.”