SPRINGFIELD – Insurers will be required to cover medically necessary epinephrine injectors for minors under a proposal passed by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) that was signed into law on Friday by Gov. Pritzker.

“With steady increases in food allergies and other serious allergic conditions, families are relying on EpiPens more than ever before,” Morrison said. “We should be doing everything we can to expand access to affordable lifesaving drugs and medicines. No child with a serious allergy should be without an epinephrine injector because they cannot afford one.”

Epinephrine injectors – commonly known by the specific brand name EpiPen – deliver the life-saving drug epinephrine to individuals experiencing a severe allergic reaction. Epinephrine works by narrowing blood vessels and opening lung airways, reversing the symptoms of a potentially fatal allergic reaction.

Morrison’s new law, contained in House Bill 3435, requires certain private insurance policies to cover medically necessary epinephrine injectors for those under 18 years of age.

“Approximately 12 percent of children in Illinois have life-threatening allergies, including severe food allergies,” said Dr. Dar Siri, Medical Director and owner of Midwest Allergy Sinus Asthma. “The passing of House Bill 3435 is a step in the right direction in ensuring affordable access to epinephrine. I applaud Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Legislature for helping to address the dual problems of the increasing prevalence of severe allergies and of access to affordable medication.”

House Bill 3435 was signed into law on Friday and takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020.