Rauner’s Medicaid overhaul cuts suppliers

Illinois Capitol News

ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Some private insurance companies will soon make big cuts to businesses suppling medical equipment.

Under Governor Bruce Rauner’s plan to overhaul the Medicaid Managed Care Program, steps are underway to make rate cuts.

Insurance companies, like Illinicare, will be cutting reimbursement rates to medical supply stores by up to 50%. The cuts will begin in the new year.

Medical supply companies, which provide things like wheelchairs, oxygen tanks and ventilators to low-income people on Medicaid, will suffer from this.

While it might not hurt consumers that much, one lawmaker says businesses in rural areas might not be able to supply someone vital health needs because of the cuts.

The Department of Healthcare and Family Services issued a statement it’s committed to making sure Medicaid members get services and equipment, but:

It is the responsibility of the health plans and providers to negotiate with each other to accomplish this within the framework of contracts, laws and rules overseen by the Department.

Senator David Koehler (D) is proposing legislation to require insurers pay suppliers as much as the state does. The bill will be up for debate in the new year.

A total of six health insurance companies will participate with Rauern’s overhaul of the Managed Care Program, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Harmony Health Plan, Meridian Health Plan and Molina Healthcare. More than half-a-million people use the program.

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