The emergency procurement period officially began today. While the issues surrounding the Humana and Health Alliance insurance situation are temporarily over, we are awaiting finality from the court and new procedures for procurement. Our current emergency procurement period will only take us to the end of September 2011, but we will just have to wait and see what will come next. As these issues start to unfold, my office will keep our website updated and keep everybody informed. I have closed the online petition, but you can still request to have your name added by emailing or calling my office. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask.
What we are being told now is that Humana is not signing a contract with the state for this 90 day period. However, it appears as though care with OSF is being picked up by Health Alliance. According to the FY11 map, Peoria County has listed Health Alliance HMO.
Also, we are now being informed that you can mail your form in or fax it in and it will still be accepted. The Benefits Choice Enrollment Period has been extended until Monday. Please get these done tomorrow if at all possible, or Monday at the latest.
The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability has made their ruling today. They are instituting an emergency procurement period that will list 90 days beginning on July 1. At the end of the 90 days, either another emergency procurement period will be voted on at that time or if their is further resolution from the court case, a final procurment period could begin. While this mess gets sorted out, information on which providers sign contracts with the State of Illinois will be forthcoming by the end of this week.
Due to the court decision late yesterday, the Benefits Choice Fair to be held at the Peoria Public Library North Branch is now cancelled. The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability will now look into the matter and the next step will come from their emergency meeting in the next few days.
Earlier this evening, a trial judge for the Sangamon County Circuit Court entered a stay order that ends the self-insured contracts. At this point in time, there are no self-insured open access plans available for state employees and retirees to choose as their insurance provider during the current open enrollment period. HealthLink OAP and PersonalCare OAP are no longer options for insurance coverage after June 30th. The only enrollment options this ruling leaves as available are CIGNA (or Teacher's Choice), HMO Illinois and BlueAdvantage HMO. This is not a final ruling. My office will keep updates coming on this website as they become available.
State Representative David Leitch will be hosting a benefits choice fair at the Peoria Public Library North Branch (100 Grand Blvd.) on Monday, June 13 from noon to 4:00 PM. On hand will be a representative from Central Management Services and each of the health insurance providers, who will all be available to answer questions. No need to make a reservation, feel free to come at any time during the fair.
Central Management Services has updated their list of benefit choice fairs for the week of June 6, 2011. You can download that list here or view their website here. The only one in the Peoria area scheduled at this time is June 7 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the University of Illinois College Of Medicine at Peoria (1 Illini Dr.).
Here are two articles (from the Illinois Public Media News and the Champaign News-Gazette) concerning the bill we passed overwhelmingly to retain Humana and Health Alliance as HMO options until this problem can be resolved.
Last night on the House floor, Governor Quinn told me he will veto the bill. He said the Administration will not change its position.
The Administration now recommends that you sign up for the Quality Care Plan now and then switch to the Open Access Plan (OAP) later in the year when another re-enrollment period would be opened.
The administration says the Open Access Plan will be as good or better than the HMO once doctors and other healthcare providers have signed up to participate. For now, they have no answers as to whether new deductibles would have to be paid, etc.
I remain appalled by the Governor and Administration’s insensitivity to the real life concerns expressed by citizens who are so worried about this situation.
My office will share additional information as it becomes available. Keep checking my website for updates.
The Chief Procurement Officer has ruled to end Health Alliance and Humana health coverage for state retirees and employees. I will continue to support any measure to reverse this decision. In addition, the Benefits Choice Period was extended to June 17, 2011. The enrollment period was originally scheduled to run from May 1 to 31. This decision prompted the Commission On Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) today to vote that the current contracts are not in the best interest of the state or state employees.
The goal of COGFA’s decision is to start the process over and further evaluate the devastating effect this decision has on the nearly 100,000 state employees and retirees.
This procurement officer’s ruling will leave 68 counties in the state without HMO coverage. I gathered area legislators together at the beginning of the month when we first found out about this decision, and together we listened to hours of testimony from concerned citizens at a packed public hearing. I made certain that the hearing audio and copies of constituent letters and emails were given to the Chief Procurement Officer, Matt Brown, and Governor Quinn. I am frustrated and disappointed that no one stood up for what is right for those who will lose their affordable, quality coverage.
If this decision stands and the process is not rebid, it will force families to pay for the more expensive tier 2 and tier 3 plans and change doctors with whom they have developed relationships.
The House Republicans have filed House Resolution 346, legislation that urges the extension of the benefit choice period no earlier than September 1, 2011.