SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Two bills were filed to improve healthcare access in central Illinois.
The bills, filed Monday, were drafted after a group of state retirees met last week to air their frustrations about lack of options.
Rep. Mike Marron (R-Fithian) filed a bill that would require the state to offer at least two choices of insurance companies for retirees.
“The idea is once you provide more options, you create competition,” Marron said. “So you know, hopefully, not only does it save cost, but the most important thing, hopefully it puts a higher quality product on the table.”
Senator Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) also filed a bill that would offer a voucher to the state’s retirees for a standard cost and use the voucher to an insurance plan of their choosing.
“Why is the state in the business of making this decision for the retiree anyway?” Rose said. “Let the retiree decide, I say. Let them pick a plan that best suits their needs and medical circumstances.”
The two proposals came in response to a dispute between the state’s primary health insurance option Aetna and Carle Health. State retirees were concerned the fallout could result in them losing access to the doctors they have seen for years at Carle.
While Carle and Aetna have announced a tentative agreement Monday evening, the legislators are still planning to continue pursuing these bills to pass those chambers.
“Myself and Representative Marron will continue to push for our retirees to have a choice in their insurance provider so that this never happens again under any Governor’s administration,” Rose said. “Enabling people to choose their own doctor is the fair and right thing to do.”
Rose says he hopes progress is made for these bills during veto session, which starts Nov. 15.