Health insuranceARLINGTON HEIGHTS – Legislation to end surprise medical bills, sponsored by State Senator Ann Gillespie, was signed into law on Thursday.

“It’s shameful that someone receiving medical care would experience financial hardship as a result of surprise medical billing,” said Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights). “This new law will provide even more protection for consumers from exorbitant out-of-pocket healthcare costs, especially at a time when many families are struggling to pay other household bills.”

House Bill 4703 protects people covered under group and individual health plans from getting surprise medical bills after receiving most services from out-of-network providers. The law brings Illinois on par with the federal No Surprises Act, which establishes new protections against surprise medical bills.

Before the No Surprises Act took effect in Jan. 2022, consumers who received care from out-of-network providers could be liable for the difference between the charges the provider billed and the amount paid by their health plan, even when receiving care at an in-network facility.

The measure is supported by the Illinois Health and Hospital Association, Shriver Center on Poverty Law and American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, among others.

House Bill 4703 was signed by the governor on Thursday and takes full effect by Jan. 2023.