Kotowski’s measure to improve access to medication passes General Assembly

“This legislation will improve the health of thousands of Illinois patients by eliminating what can be days, even weeks of delay.” - State Senator Dan Kotowski

052314CM1379RSPRINGFIELD - State Senator Dan Kotowski's (D-Park Ridge) legislation to improve the prior authorization process for patients to get access to crucial medications passed the General Assembly and is now headed to Governor Quinn's desk.

“This legislation will improve the health of thousands of Illinois patients by eliminating what can be days, even weeks of delay,” said Kotowski who has sponsored several measures to help consumers get the medications they need. “I urge Governor Quinn to sign this legislation quickly so that we can put medical decisions back where they belong, with doctors and their patients."

House Bill 3638 requires insurance companies to streamline the medication coverage approval process. The plan will guarantee that a prior authorization request for medications is approved or denied by an insurance company within 72 hours, improving a bottleneck that has resulted in massive and dangerous delays for patients to get the medications prescribed by their doctors. In emergencies, that approval or denial time moves to 24 hours.  

The legislation was supported by dozens of health advocacy organizations in Illinois, including the Epilepsy Foundation, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Arthritis Foundation, AIDS Foundation and several mental health advocacy organizations such as Mental Health America and the National Association for the Mentally Ill.  

The legislation also aims to improve the state's Health Exchange by requiring insurers to be more transparent and provide consumers with additional information about insurance coverage and medication costs in each plan.

Rep. Laura Fine (D-Glenview) was the chief sponsor of the legislation in the Illinois House. 

Senator Dan Kotowski

28th District

Years served:
2007 - 2016

Committee assignments: Appropriations I (Vice-Chairperson); Criminal Law; Appropriations II (Chairperson); Higher Education; Revenue; Committee of the Whole.

Biography: First elected in 2007, a life-long resident of Illinois, Kotowski was born and raised in Chicago. Graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a degree in English and Communications, and he obtained his Master’s Degree from DePaul University in Chicago.