Health Alliance unlikely to protest its failed bid

Affected retirees urged to wait for more information

URBANA — Health Alliance Medical Plans says it is unlikely to challenge Medicare Advantage contract selections for state retirees.

The Urbana insurer, which currently covers 15,000 state retirees, was one of the unsuccessful bidders for the new contracts posted by the state Department of Central Management Services on Oct. 1.

The state plans to award the contracts to Aetna Life Insurance Co., Humana Health Plan, Humana Benefit Plan and United Healthcare.

Bidders that weren't selected — which also included HealthSpring (CIGNA) — have until Wednesday to dispute the choices.

"It is unlikely that Health Alliance will be filing an official protest of the state's Medicare Advantage contract awards," Health Alliance spokeswoman Kelli Anderson said in an email Monday. "We encourage our affected members to wait for more detailed information from Central Management Services to assess their options based on facts and their individual situation."

Health Alliance said about of its 6,000 of its retiree members are Carle patients, and those members will have to change doctors because the selected insurers don't have Medicare Advantage contracts with Carle Physician Group.

However, those members have other options.

"We know the state has an opt-out provision available under the state plan, and a cancellation provision under the teacher's and college plan. However, we cannot advise affected members whether to take either of these actions," Anderson said. "Every retiree's situation is different. Once more details are released, we will provide information about any options that may be available through Health Alliance."

CMS says once contracts are finalized, retiree members will be sent informational letters about plan designs, costs, provider networks, enrollment dates, details about how to cancel coverage or opt-out and dates and times of informational seminars that will be scheduled.

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mgg wrote on October 09, 2013 at 8:10 am

So Quinn has decided that retirees aren't a threat to his re-election and figures a few million he might save by forcing us to a poorer quality health care program will let him buy more doors for the capital.  All he's done is add a few thousand campaign workers to whomever decides to end his governatorial career.

mgg