It is our sincere pleasure to report that we were advised that the Illinois Department of Insurance re-assessed their position and came to the conclusion that no legislation is needed in Illinois to form self-insured cooperatives for small business owners, their employees and entrepreneurs. This is a huge victory for small businesses throughout the State of Illinois. Just as importantly, this could not have been done without your efforts.
To briefly recap:
– Our efforts began last year when we formed a coalition of business organizations for the purpose of passing legislation allowing small business owners to form self-insured cooperatives. It had been the position of the State that this legislation was necessary to form these cooperatives. Despite our efforts, we were unable to move this legislation through the Senate Insurance Committee.
– We re-drafted the bill and went to work this session. It was not easy. Our lobbyist, Dan Johnson, fought for the bill. Ken Olson became involved and offered strong support for the legislation. Steve Banke led the charge. Amy Masters got the word out. Blanca kept things together.
– SBAC members went to Springfield on multiple occasions to lobby for the bill. On one occasion, Steve Goldberg and Ken Olson testified with Dan Johnson in favor of the bill. So many of our members worked to bring legislators on board, and business groups into our coalition, it is not possible to mention you all as this would go on forever. We cannot thank everyone enough!
– Through the efforts outlined above, we were able to move the bill through the House Insurance Committee and yes, the Senate Insurance Committee. Shortly thereafter, the Illinois Department of Insurance determined legislation was not necessary and a self-insured cooperative could be formed under Illinois law that will allow us to compete in the free market with the large insurance companies that presently dominate this space.
– We will now begin working with multiple players and a coalition of over 11,0000 businesses and entrepreneurs to build and populate a health insurance cooperative to stabilize the costs of health insurance and bring transparency to the process.
This victory came through the power of critical mass, coupled with the incredible efforts of our members and partners.