Sen. Mike Simmons

SPRINGFIELD – To expand coverage of preventative screenings for liver disease, State Senator Mike Simmons advanced legislation from the Senate Insurance Committee on Tuesday.

“The best chance at fighting any disease is early detection,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “This bill will provide liver disease screenings to people who need them, regardless of their health insurer status. Identifying liver disease early improves long-term health outcomes, especially for those most at-risk.”

Senate Bill 1282 requires Medicaid, private insurance plans and government employee insurance plans to cover preventative screenings for liver disease for individuals who are at high risk for liver disease. These screenings may occur every six months, and plans will be prohibited from imposing a deductible, coinsurance, co-payment or any other cost-sharing requirement.

According to the CDC, in 2021, 56,585 adults in the U.S. died from liver disease, making it the ninth leading cause of death.

“Our goal is to improve health outcomes for people who are both underinsured and at-risk for liver disease, especially those who struggle with substance abuse and addiction,” Simmons said. “The cost of any screening should never be a reason to forgo care. At the end of the day, this bill is about preventing avoidable deaths by providing equitable preventive healthcare.”

Senate Bill 1282 passed out of the Senate Insurance Committee Tuesday and awaits further consideration.