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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 26, 2011

Illinois Department of Insurance Publishes Civil Unions Guidance for Consumers and Industry
Effective June 1, 2011, Illinois’ Civil Union Law Provides Important New Insurance Benefits and Protections to Civil Union Spouses

CHICAGO - The Illinois Department of Insurance today published information for consumers and insurance professionals about a new State law that, effective June 1, 2011, allows unmarried adults in Illinois to enter into a civil union with all of the obligations, protections, and legal rights that Illinois law provides to married couples.

The Department published a consumer fact sheet on its website (www.insurance.illinois.gov) explaining the law’s impact on insurance coverage and benefits. The fact sheet contains “frequently asked questions,” including how to enroll a civil union spouse under an employer’s health plan and whether civil union spouses are entitled to survivor benefits under a municipal pension. The Department also provided guidance to all insurance companies licensed to operate in Illinois to ensure that companies comply with the new law and provided information about the law to policyholders. A copy of the company bulletin is available on the Department’s website at http://insurance.illinois.gov/cb/2011/cb2011-06.pdf.

“Whether through auto, life, homeowners’, renters’, or health insurance, nearly every Illinois resident relies on an insurance policy to provide financial security,” said Michael T. McRaith, Director of the Illinois Department of Insurance.  “As the people of Illinois celebrate the many positive implications and benefits of this historic civil union law, the Department is available to provide timely information and answer questions from the families, employers, and insurance professionals impacted by the law.”

Consumers in need of additional information or assistance can visit the Department’s website or speak to one of our insurance experts toll-free at (866) 445-5326.

The Department’s mission is to protect consumers by providing assistance and information, by efficiently regulating the insurance industry’s market behavior and financial solvency, and by fostering a competitive insurance marketplace. The Department assists consumers with all insurance complaints, including health, auto, life, and homeowner. Consumers in need of information or assistance should visit the Department’s Web site at www.illinois.insurance.gov or call our toll-free hotline at (866) 445-5326.



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