ISMS Supports Increased Access to Care and Safety for Sexual Assault Survivors

January 21, 2022

Approximately 5,000 sexual assault survivors are seen each year in Illinois healthcare facilities. About 20% of those survivors are children under the age of 13.

ISMS has joined a diverse coalition of professionals who work with sexual assault survivors to urge Illinois lawmakers to support providing healthcare facilities appropriate reimbursement for the care provided to survivors, including increased compensation for an intensive forensic exam. We are also seeking additional protection for survivors of assault.

The coalition is seeking two changes to existing legislation via Senate Bill 2967.

The first change would:

  • Remove the reimbursement of care for sexual assault survivors from under the limitations of the Save Medicaid Access and Resources Together (SMART) ACT.
  • Establish a reimbursement of at least $3,000 for an acute medical forensic exam for adult, adolescent and pediatric survivors, with a provision for future increases.

The second change would be to allow survivors of sexual violence to voluntarily opt out of having their insurance billed for a medical forensic exam if they are not the primary insurance cardholder. The current practice of requiring the survivor’s private insurance to be billed creates a barrier to seeking care in certain cases.

These legislative amendments would increase access to care and safety for survivors in difficult situations.

Another bill that is part of this effort, Senate Bill 3023, passed unanimously out of the Senate Health Committee. This bill would extend the timeline for follow-up healthcare to be provided to sexual assault survivors, an encouraging step toward making sure they get the care they need.

If you have questions, please contact ISMS Senior Vice President of State Legislative Affairs Erin O’Brien by email.

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