Health Alliance head says state contract re-bid is being considered
Details are now emerging about a plan that could allow Urbana-based Health Alliance to bid a second time for the state's Medicare Advantage plan for state retirees.
The contracts for the program were announced last month, but Health Alliance was not one of the insurance providers chosen. That forced thousands of retirees in East Central Illinois to look for a new provider for their Medicare Advantage plan.
But Health Alliance President and CEO Jeff Ingrum said the insurance provider may get another chance to become an option for retirees.
However, Ingrum said the Governor's office has not yet sent out a new supplemental bid request, which would allow Health Alliance to re-bid on the Medicare Advantage plan.
Central Management Services spokesman Mike Claffey said that he did not know the status of any supplemental bidding process.
Ingrum said for the time being, state retirees need to sign up for a new plan before the Dec. 13 deadline even though there's a possibility that Health Alliance could be an option in the future.
Meanwhile, Ingrum said Health Alliance plans to allow individual policyholders whose plans do not meet the requirements of the new health care law to keep those plans for one year instead of canceling them and forcing people to get insurance through the new health care exchange or elsewhere.
Health insurance policies that do not meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act have been canceled across the country as people have been signing up for health care coverage under the law. But Governor Pat Quinn's administration has announced Illinois will allow the one-year extension of existing health insurance plans that was put forth by President Barack Obama last week.
Ingrum said Health Alliance feels it's important to allow people to keep their current policies because of the confusion and problems with the government website.
Ingrum made the comments Friday on A Penny for Your Thoughts on WDWS.