Sen. Barickman Advances Legislation to Provide Options for Individuals with TMJ

TMJ is a condition that causes significant pain and other issues with the joint behind the jaw. Right now, many public employees suffering from TMJ don’t even have the option of purchasing health insurance coverage for the condition. This could soon change due to legislation sponsored by State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) that is awaiting the signature of the Governor.

The issue was brought to the Senator’s attention by a constituent, Tony Kestner, whose daughter suffers from TMJ.

“This legislation is an opportunity to make a positive change for people living in my district and across the entire state,” said Barickman. “Giving people more options with their health insurance is the right thing to do.”

The current state insurance code requires the option for coverage for temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) or craniomandibular disorder for most private employees. Optional TMJ coverage has not been offered for many public employees, however, including teachers, police officers, and others.

Senate Bill 499 requires state, county, municipal, school, and several other types of public employers to offer optional TMJ coverage to their employees for an additional premium. Because employees have to pay for the additional coverage, there is no additional cost to the employers.

“On behalf of our daughter, who suffers from TMJ, we are very appreciative of the unanimous, bi-partisan support of SB499 in both chambers and are hopeful that Gov. Pritzker will sign this into law. This Bill will ensure those that suffer from TMJ will be able to obtain insurance coverage and get medical treatment,” said Tony Kestner, whose daughter suffers from TMJ. “We’d like to Specifically recognize, chief Sponsor Senator Barickman, chief co-sponsor Senator Jacqueline Collins, House Chief Sponsor Representative Lance Yednock, and House co-Sponsors Dan Caulkins and Kathleen Willis for sponsoring this legislation.”

The bill passed both chambers and awaits the signature of the Governor to become law.


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