State halts health claims of 146,000 state employees

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration has stopped paying health care claims for at least 146,000 state workers because of the budget mess.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports that the Department of Central Management Services has halted funding for claims covered by the state’s self-insurance plans.

But payments will continue to private companies operating managed-care plans for another 158,000 workers.

The newspaper reports it’s unprecedented for the state to stop paying claims. It’s unclear whether health care providers will demand upfront, out-of-pocket payments.

Meredith Krantz is spokeswoman for CMS. She says insurance coverage is important and administration officials “understand how critical this benefit is to our employees.”

But she says CMS can’t cover the claims because there is no budget for fiscal year 2016.