IL budget impasse could affect doctor visits for state employees

IL budget issues could affect health insurance for state workers

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - While Illinois workers continue to pay into the state health insurance plan, Illinois is not releasing funds to healthcare providers for services because of the budget impasse.

Since July, the Illinois Department of Central Management Services has not released payments for claims or premiums for workers covered under the State Employee Group Insurance Program.

Many healthcare providers in the state have been treating state workers with the expectation of a delayed payment by the state. In the past, healthcare providers have seen payments delayed by longer than eight months, according to the CMS.

"As the budget impasse continues, it may become increasingly difficult for providers to offer services without being paid," said Kevin Bame, the vice chancellor of Finance and Administration at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

"As the budget crisis continues to drag on, medical providers may be making some hard decisions and requiring our employees to put something down before services are rendered," Bame said.

The same could happen for all state employees covered under the SEGIP. However, Bame said most providers are continuing to operate as normal.

According to an article by the St. Louis Post Dispatch, a professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville was asked to pay her medical costs upfront or to find another provider.

One of the largest healthcare providers in the region, Southern Illinois Healthcare group, will continue to accept payments as usual, SIH Spokeswoman Rosalind Rice said.

According to Bame, smaller healthcare providers may not be able to continue offering services without payment.

If you're not sure whether your healthcare provider is accepting the delayed payments from the state you may want to call ahead, according to CMS.

If you're asked to pay full cost up front, you should contact the program administrator.

For more information, you can click here to view the CMS' answers to frequently asked questions regarding the state budget and employee benefits.

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