Thu June 16, 2011
Most state employees can keep health plans, for now
By Luke Runyon
Springfield, IL –
Nearly all health care plans previously offered to state employees and retirees will now be available... at least for the next 90 days. The missing piece, as of Thursday afternoon, is Humana. It's the only medical provider yet to reach a temporary agreement with the state.
All other managed care, including both HMOs and open access plans , will be in place until October.
Mike Claffey is a spokesman for the state agency that oversees employee medical benefits.
He says the short-term plans are necessary to keep all workers covered: there will be no interruptions in care come July 1st.
Workers who want to keep their old providers don't have to fill out additional paperwork. Public employees who want to switch plans must do so by the end of business Friday. The plans could be in place longer than the three month deadline. If a court battle drags on, state officials could extend the temporary plans even further.
There's been controversy over employee health insurance since the state announced in April its intent to drop two popular plans. The state is also promising to hold another open enrollment period this fall so workers unhappy with their insurance choice can switch.