If you were at the 8th annual Global Latino Fest on October 12 as I was, you know what a fun and fulfilling event it was again this year. Please enjoy a brief video showing some of the sights and sounds.

Category: Blog Post

The Illinois Society of Anesthesiologists (ISA) awarded Senator Iris Y. Martinez the Senator of the Year Award in recognition for her vigorous advocacy for the practice of medicine.

“I want to thank the ISA for this great award and for their assistance in educating me in pain management in order to help advance legislation in Illinois that benefits the safety of parents,” Martinez said.

The award was presented to Senator Martinez by Dr. Asokumar Buvanendran, past president of the ISA. Senator Martinez had the opportunity to watch an interventional pain procedure with Dr. Buvanendran. The procedure was a surgical implant of a spinal cord stimulator which is a device that delivers pain-relieving medications to a specific site of pain on the spinal cord in the body.

“Through her advocacy for the Interventional Pain Medicine Act she is creating a foundation for ensuring the patient safety,” Dr. Buvanendran said. “The anesthesiologists of Illinois applaud her dedication to advance the practice of medicine; she is a true champion of patient safety.”

The mission of the ISA is to advance and further patient safety.

Category: News Releases

In a growing national trend, hospitals are offering free care to low-income patients as a means of meeting charitable goals that allow them to remain tax exempt. To bring Illinois in line, Senator Iris Y. Martinez today passed a measure through the Senate requiring all hospitals in the state to provide free care to individuals at or below the federal poverty level.

“Of the 200 hospitals in Illinois, roughly 70 to 75 percent already provide free care to poor individuals, so this measure is just bringing all hospitals to the same level and standard of free care,” Martinez said. “The bill only applies to hospitals and only for emergency services that exceed $300. A person cannot receive preventative care, an annual check-up from their primary provider, or prescription assistance through this initiative.”

Under Senate Bill 3261, urban hospitals must provide this discount to patients with a family income below 200 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines, which amounts to an annual income of $22,340 for a single person and $46,100 for a family of four. Rural and Critical Access Hospitals must provide this discount to patients with a family income below 125 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines, equal to an annual income of $14,000 for a single person and $28,813 for a family of four.

The bill also requires the Attorney General’s office, through recommendations of the Illinois Hospital Association (IHA) and the Fair Care Coalition, to create standards for financial assistance applications and determination of presumptive eligibility for people seeking free care. Without access to hard evidence, presumptive eligibility is the process hospitals use to determine an individual’s income.

The measure is an agreement between Senator Martinez, the governor’s office, the attorney general’s office, the Fair Care Coalition, and the IHA.

“Illinois hospitals have long advocated for increased access to quality health care for all Illinoisans,” said Illinois Hospital Association President and CEO Maryjane Wurth. “This legislation is an important step toward achieving greater access to needed care.”

Category: News Releases

A measure passed by Senator Iris Y. Martinez will end a deceptive advertising practice by auto insurance companies that can often leave policy holders in a tight spot if they are in an accident.

House Bill 4096 changes the Insurance Code to specify that advertising and selling an automobile insurance policy stating that a driver’s license is not required followed by the denial of a claim because the insured driver does not have a valid driver’s license is an unfair and deceptive business practice.  This change in the Code allows the Department of Insurance to investigate insurance companies who are accused by consumers of this practice.

“The auto insurance companies use this practice to deceive drivers by selling them insurance and then denying coverage once they are in an accident and it is found that they do not have a license,” Martinez said. “In technical terms, an individual does not have to hold a driver’s license to purchase auto insurance.”

The measure has passed the Senate and moves to the House for further consideration.

“This bill is a consumer protection measure meant to prevent insurance companies from preying on consumers, and if they pay for the policy their claims have to be paid regardless of their driver license status” Martinez continued.


Photo courtesy of the Department of Insurance



Category: News Releases

Office Information

Springfield Office:
413 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8191
District Office:
2921 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 278-2020


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