The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Jonathan Carroll, (D-57th District), said he got the idea from his wife, who asked why the government picks up the hospital bill for people who are unvaccinated.
Carroll’s bill would amend the state’s insurance code so that a person who is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and chooses not to be vaccinated must pay for health care expenses out-of-pocket if the person becomes hospitalized with the virus.
The change would update insurance policies issued or renewed on or after January 2023.
The bill is almost certain to face legal questions. Federal laws bar employers and insurers from charging higher prices to people with pre-existing health conditions. But some employers are taking action anyway. Delta Airlines has said that unvaccinated workers could face a $200 monthly health insurance surcharge.
Even without a legislative push, data show more and more Illinois residents are getting vaccinated. 61 percent of eligible residents are now fully vaccinated.
The Illinois Democratic House leadership declined to comment on the bill.