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Check out this interview I did with Partnership for College Completion! The full interview can be found on their website here

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House Bill 3308 passed the House unanimously with a vote of 114-0. This legislation addresses opportunities for adoption and expansion of telehealth services in the State of Illinois as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Several areas are addressed such as payment parity, equitable access to telehealth services, and privacy and security protections.

Under current law, insurance companies may, but are not required to provide coverage for telehealth services. House Bill 3308 addresses the opportunities for adoption and expansion of telehealth as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on payment parity.

This measure would require:

  • Telehealth services to be delivered when clinically appropriate and medically necessary in the same manner as other insurance benefits.
  • Insurance plans to reimburse in-network health care professionals or facilities in a tiered network in the same way as an in-person encounter. 
  • Insurance companies to notify health care professionals and facilities of how to submit telehealth claims. 
  • The Department of Insurance and the Department of Public Health to submit a report on telehealth to the General Assembly. 
  • Telehealth services to adhere to existing privacy laws. 
  • Early Intervention Services to offer telehealth options where appropriate.

It would prohibit insurance companies from: 

  • Requiring in-person contact between patients and health care professionals before allowing telehealth services. 
  • Requiring a documented hardship before covering telehealth services. 
  • Requiring the use of telehealth when the patient does not desire it or the health care professional does not deem it appropriate.
  • Creating geographic or facility restrictions for telehealth services. 
  • Requiring health care professionals to offer telehealth services or patients to use them.
  • Implementing unnecessary utilization review requirements for telehealth services.
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The Northwest Home Equity Assurance program provides an insurance program that pays the difference of what a home is worth and what it sells for if the home drops in value. The assurance program also pays the interest for no cost and zero percent interest home improvement loans. An unmet need in Chicago are tools to help homeowners stay in their home who are unable to pay for their property tax bill due to an unforeseen financial hardship. 

In Cook County, there are more than 52,000 properties whose delinquent taxes would be sold to investors if the tax sale were held,” Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas said. “Of those properties, more than 23,000 of them owe less than $1,000. About 2,000 are owned by senior citizens.” This could result in an individual losing their home. The tax sale results in vulture tax buyers purchasing the delinquent taxes, then disposing of the home after the period of redemption as they chose. This sale would result in a loss of wealth in the range $150,000-$275,000 based on our analysis and our 18 year track record working in housing. 

A solution: HB 2614

The proposed amendment would enable the members and/or board of directors from the  Home Equity Assurance programs to vote on implementing a program that would offer low or zero interest loans  aimed at helping homeowners stay in their home who are unable to pay their property tax bill. 

Loans must be used to assist with repayment of delinquent property taxes and for those facing imminent delinquency. Eligible applicant may not borrow more than the amount due to the treasurer's office. The board of program will have responsibility for determining program guidelines and requirements, such as the below market interest rate charged, application fees (if any), and other administrative rules and procedures.

The assurance program is funded through homeowner tax levies and this amendment has no impact on revenue from the state of Illinois budget.

Created in 1988 and funded by taxpayers in the district, the program is one of two such programs that exist only in the City of Chicago. Never significantly used for its original purpose, the program has a significant cash balance.

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emergency rental assistance survey

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Office Information

Springfield Office:
M120 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8191
 
District Office:
3140 W. Montrose
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 278-2020