Thursday, October 22, 2009

Health plans coping with state payment delays


Health Alliance Medical Plans will continue to pay medical bills for state workers, retirees and their dependents, even though Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration will stop paying the state’s share of monthly premiums for 3 1/2 months.
The state budget crisis prompted state officials to notify health-insurance companies this month about the delays, said Pat Frueh, acting chief of health-care purchasing for the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.
“We had to come up with a cash-shortfall plan,” she said.
Jocelyn Browning, spokeswoman for Health Alliance, said the state has never before failed to pay monthly premiums in the 30 years that Health Alliance has insured state workers.
At least for now, she said, “It shouldn’t affect our members. We’re still playing claims.”
Health Alliance covers 78,600 state employees, retirees and dependents. The state’s average monthly premium payment to Health Alliance was $33 million, Browning said. Health Alliance last received a payment from the state Aug. 26.
A spokeswoman for Chicago-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois wouldn’t say whether the premium delays will result in Blue Cross paying bills late or refusing to pay them.

Democrat Elected Officials

  • Effingham County Board Distric G-Doug McCain
  • Effingham County Treasurer - Steve Dasenbrock
  • Effingham County Board District C - Karen Luchtefeld

Effingham County Democrats Officers

  • Chairman - Audrey Griffith
  • First Vice Chairman - Dan Niebrugge
  • Second Vice Chairman - Allen Wente
  • Secretary - James Hammer
  • Treasurer - Shirley McEvers