State health insurance plans have caused headaches and worries among some state employees.
Several HMO's including Healthlink (the most popular healthcare plan among state employees in southern Illinois) had been eliminated from the 2012 plan. That left state employees in central and southern Illinois with costly alternatives.
Late Wednesday afternoon, the State of Illinois negotiated a 90-day extension contracts with all previous health insurance providers except Humana.
State employees would have had to choose between paying more for health coverage through the Quality Care Health Plan or drive long distances to approved doctors under the Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO- BlueAdvantage.
The BlueAdvantage plan only has agreements with doctors and hospitals in 38 of Illinois' 102 counties. Only Randolph and Monroe counties are on that list in southern Illinois.
The 90-day extension will give state employees a little more time with their existing plans and offer the state more time to figure out a solution to lingering litigation on the topic.
State employees who do not want to switch their plan don't have to do anything. If you've already switched plans and want to stick with that, you don't have to do anything.
If you've changed your plan and want to switch back to your previous HMO - you'll have to contact your Central Management Services insurance advisor by close of business Friday, June 17.
For more information on the on-going health insurance issue from the Illinois Department of Central Management Services, click here.