04222021HAO0290SPRINGFIELD – Illinoisans on Medicare would be able to switch supplemental plans without worrying about higher premiums, underwriting or pre-existing conditions under a new measure introduced by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines).

“If their supplemental plan rates go up, many older adults are denied the chance to switch to a less expensive plan because of a pre-existing condition. They’re locked into their current plan,” said Murphy. “It’s time to give older Illinoisans the freedom to seek lower costs elsewhere.”

The measure would establish an annual open enrollment period for each Medicare supplement policyholder between 65 and 75 years of age that begins on the policyholder’s birthday and lasts 45 days.

During this period, the policyholder would be able to switch to a new supplemental policy under their same insurance provider. Insurance providers would not be able to deny, underwrite or charge new policyholders based on health status.

Murphy’s initiative is modeled after a law in California known as the Medigap “Birthday Rule,” which allows those with Medicare supplemental plans to switch to a plan of equal or lesser benefits within 30 days of their birthday. Other states designate guaranteed-issue periods during certain months or around the anniversary of the policyholder’s original policy issue date.

“Many older residents in my district have contacted my office to support this measure,” said Murphy. “We need to give Medicare patients the ability to shop for the policy that works for them.”

Senate Bill 147 passed the Insurance Committee Wednesday and now heads to the full Senate.

Mobile home parkSPRINGFIELD – Two measures proposed by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) to increase transparency for mobile home buyers and improve conditions in mobile home parks have been sponsored in the House.

“Financial transparency and access to clean water are foundational rights that should be afforded to any homeowner,” Murphy said. “I’m proud to see this legislation being picked up in the House, bringing us one step closer to making these initiatives a reality.”

A loan for a mobile home located in a mobile home park is different from a mortgage: Mobile homes are assessed and taxed as personal property rather than real estate, interest rates are often much higher than those for typical home loans, and refinancing options are limited. To ensure residents are well informed when purchasing a mobile home, Senate Bill 1779 would require lenders to disclose these differences to prospective mobile home buyers.

Murphy has also introduced Senate Bill 1780, which calls for the owner of a mobile home park to provide water to residents if the normal water supply has been disrupted for more than three days, unless the disruption is due to circumstances beyond the owner’s control. Murphy was inspired to introduce the legislation after a weeklong water shortage in 2019 at the Blackhawk Estates mobile home park in unincorporated Des Plaines, which left residents unable to shower, do laundry or wash dishes.

“Every resident deserves to be able to rely on safe living conditions and to know where they stand financially,” Murphy said. “These measures ensure mobile home owners are protected just like any Illinois homeowner.”

Senate Bills 1779 and 1780 have been sponsored in the House by State Rep. Marty Moylan (D-Des Plaines).

High school students maskedDES PLAINES – State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) recently honored 507 Northwest Suburban high school students who were named 2021-22 Illinois State Scholars by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

Illinois State Scholar winners rank in approximately the top 10% of the state’s high school seniors from 676 high schools in all 102 counties. Selection is based on a combination of standardized test scores and class rank or unweighted GPA at the end of the student’s junior year. ISAC works in conjunction with the students’ high school guidance counselors to determine the winners.

“This generation of students has faced challenges many of us couldn’t have imagined,” Murphy said. “The most recent class of Illinois State Scholars—as well as their teachers, administrators and families—have shown unprecedented dedication and perseverance. Their hard work has made our community proud.”

The Scholars from the Northwest Suburbs include students from eight area high schools, including Elk Grove High School, J.B. Conant High School, Maine Township High School South, Maine Township High School West, Schaumburg Christian School, Schaumburg High School, Willows Academy and Lake Park West High School.

Recipients of the award will receive a congratulatory letter from ISAC, and a Certificate of Achievement will be sent to their high school. State Scholars will also receive a digital badge issued by ISAC that can be displayed on online profiles, exhibited on social media, and shared with prospective colleges and employers.

“With college and financial aid applications looming for many students, I hope this well-earned recognition will give them a boost,” Murphy said. “I look forward to watching our hardworking young neighbors succeed in the years to come.”

More information about the State Scholar program can be found at ISAC’s website.

04132021CM0234SPRINGFIELD – To protect Illinois drivers’ personal information and travel records from falling into the wrong hands, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) advanced legislation out of the Senate Friday to limit the instances in which this data can be shared.

“You have the right to keep your personal information private—that includes your travel history,” Murphy said. “This legislation would tighten up current laws to ensure your comings and goings aren’t shared without valid cause.”

In 2019, reports revealed that the Illinois Tollway Authority was openly sharing drivers’ travel data with local police departments and divorce attorneys. The data showed individuals’ movements on state tollways, in addition to personal contact information, license plate numbers and more.

Under Murphy’s bill, private data derived from toll collections could only be released for toll collection purposes and pursuant to law enforcement investigations. Except in cases of emergency, police departments would be required to have a warrant or subpoena in order to obtain a driver’s information from the Tollway.

Any personally identifiable information connected to travel data would have to be deleted from Illinois Tollway Authority records within five years.

“Releasing travel records to third parties isn’t just a violation of privacy—it can put individuals like domestic violence survivors in danger,” Murphy said. “It is critical that the Illinois Tollway treats this sensitive information with the care it deserves.”

Senate Bill 2235 passed the Senate and now heads to the House.

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Office Info

Springfield Office:
108E Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-3875

District Office:

1645 South River Road, Suite 7
Des Plaines, Illinois 60018
 (847) 718-1110