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Illinois to Drop Health Alliance for Retirees


The state of Illinois has removed Urbana-based Health Alliance from its list of retiree contracts, as of January 2014.

That will force 6,000 retired state employees to turn to one of four other carriers by the end of this year.  Those carriers include Medicare Advantage plans with Aetna Life, Humana Health, Humana Benefit or United Healthcare.

I think it's awfully interesting that they're doing this under the cover of darkness.

Health Alliance Spokeswoman Jane Hayes said the insurer submitted a competitive bid, and can’t explain why it wasn’t included.

“I’m not sure what the recourse is, but I think it might be a futile attempt if they’ve demonstrated already that they aren’t concerned about these retirees, and those who have to change their health care providers in addition to their health care coverage,” said Hayes. 

State Senator Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) was angered by the decision.

“I think it’s awfully interesting that they’re (Central Management Services) doing this under the cover of darkness. That’s my main goal is try to find someone over there that can answer some damn questions,” said Rose.

Two years ago, Health Alliance wasn’t chosen for state or retiree health contacts, prompting legislative and court action that eventually led to its services being restored.  

The insurer filed a formal protest that year, but Hayes is not sure that will happen again this time.