Sen. Adriane Johnson

SPRINGFIELD – To allow individuals who have overcome addiction to put their pasts behind them and move forward, State Senator Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove) has sponsored a measure to prohibit life insurance companies from denying coverage or increasing rates solely because an individual has undergone treatment for substance abuse.

“It takes strength, perseverance and resolve to seek treatment for an addiction,” Johnson said. “Life insurance companies shouldn’t punish those who have chosen to change their lives for the better.”

Johnson’s plan would prohibit a life insurance company from denying or limiting coverage or charging higher rates based solely on whether an individual has participated in a substance use treatment or recovery support program more than five years prior to application.

Insurance companies would also be prohibited from discriminating based on whether the applicant has previously been prescribed an opioid antagonist such as Narcan or Naloxone.

“When an individual makes the decision to get help, they’re committing to a healthier future,” Johnson said. “That determination should be celebrated and rewarded.”

The legislation would not prohibit life insurance companies from making coverage decisions based on physical and mental conditions caused by substance abuse.

House Bill 33 passed the Senate Saturday with bipartisan support.