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HMO ruling handed down in Springfield

May 20, 2011

An announcement regarding a new deadline for the selection of benefits could be coming soon, following a decision released Thursday by the Illinois Attorney General’s office.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan released a decision indicating that a legislative oversight panel does not have the authority to block individual health insurance contracts for state employees. medical-symbol

The General Assembly’s bipartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability sought the opinion because it was unclear if the commission could simply vote to reject the new health contracts negotiated by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

Those new contracts, with Blue Cross Blue Shield, will likely replace the current offerings from Health Alliance and Humana. The Quality Care and HMO Illinois options of past years will be available once again.

“This does not signal the end of the issue. Health Alliance still has some appeals pending, but this may offer some insight into what direction the decision may go,” said Steve Cunningham, vice president for Administration and Human Resource Services at NIU. “It might be a good time for employees to begin analyzing their options more closely and learn which networks include their existing health care providers.”

The deadline for the Benefits Choice, which traditionally has been May 31, has been extended until this question is completely resolved. No new deadline date has been announced yet.

For up-to-date news, monitor the Human Resource Services blog and Central Management Services homepage.