Governor takes another hit on
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[APRIL 30, 2004]
SPRINGFIELD -- State Sen.
Larry Bomke, R-Springfield, calls the governor's nonrenewal of three
health insurance plan for state employees "another hit to the base
of state government." Health Alliance, OSF Health Plans and Unicare
were dropped as providers by the state.
"First the governor moves the focus of
state government from Springfield -- the state capital -- to Chicago
and relocates Springfield-based jobs to Chicago; and now he is
taking away quality health insurance from a downstate provider for
the state employees who remain," said Bomke.
According to Central Management
Services, the state is switching from fully insured managed care
plans to self-insured managed care plans. This means the state will
assume the risk and liability of providing health insurance for its
employees but will use the managed care plans network.
"The state is taking a huge risk with
this venture," said Bomke. "It could save us money, but it could
also cost us more to provide health insurance for those same
employees if they switch to the indemnity plan. Changing doctors is
a big decision, and with no other option before them, many of these
employees will opt for the state's indemnity plan, which costs the
state more to provide. The governor is forcing my constituents to
opt for a more expensive health insurance plan or switch doctors."
Health insurance is one of the areas
the state has looked into as a possible cost-saving measure,
particularly by moving more state employees off the indemnity plan
and into managed care plans, such as Health Alliance. Because Health
Alliance was the sole managed care insurer for Springfield Clinic,
the area's largest health provider, state employees may have no
other option but to move to the indemnity plan.
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"This is contrary to the governor's
goals and a side effect that may have been overlooked when Health
Alliance's contract was not renewed," Bomke said. "From the calls I
have received in my office, state employees are happy with the
service they have received from Health Alliance and want to see the
Health Alliance and OSF Health Plans
officially filed a protest to the state's decision Monday.
Bomke has contacted the governor's
office and Springfield Clinic and continues to monitor the extent to
which this will affect state employees. Approximately 18,000 area
residents use Springfield Clinic doctors, and nearly 27,800 area
residents currently have Health Alliance for their insurance.
state and university employees affected by the decision to contact
Central Management Services, (217) 782-2121, and the
governor's office, (312) 814-2121, to voice their objections.