Legislators Seek Re-Bidding For HMO Contracts
By Jeff Bossert
Two area lawmakers haven’t given up in their effort to reverse the state’s retiree contracts for 2014 Medicare Advantage plans.
Senator Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) and Chad Hays (R-Catlin) have filed separate bills to seek a re-bidding process with hopes Health Alliance will be on that list of providers.
Both contend Governor Pat Quinn’s administration deliberately boxed out the Urbana-based insurer, forcing recipients to choose from four others.
Hays, Rose, and other lawmakers criticized state officials in a legislative hearing last week - noting Health Alliance was the low bidder for Medicare Advantage contracts.
The insurer was left out due to enrollment numbers, which Hays calls ‘absurd.’
He admitted the measure would require quick action from the legislature and Governor Quinn, since the retiree plans are due to take effect February 1st.
“The governor’s office is going to have to become engaged to try to open it back up – working cooperatively with the legislature," he said. "I hope that’s what comes to pass. The legislation that would enable it would have to have some provisions to allow for an appropriate time to rebid and for an appropriate time for individuals to choose their health plan.”
But Hays said it’s not certain either measure will get a vote when lawmakers return to Springfield next week.
Lawmakers adjourn the fall veto session a week from Thursday.