FITHIAN – State Representative Mike Marron (R-Fithian) has filed legislation (HB 5831) that would restore choice for Illinois retirees that are facing the loss of their health insurance provider come January 1, 2023. Marron says he’s heard from hundreds of retirees and Medicare-eligible individuals concerned that the State of Illinois’ plan to switch state retirees to Aetna PPO health insurance will lead to local in-network health care providers not accepting the new plan.
“The State’s decision to make Aetna the only option for Illinois retirees is threatening access to the area’s biggest healthcare provider,” Marron said. “The legislation I filed today is aimed at restoring choice for seniors and retirees that are facing this devastating loss of provider care.”
Aetna PPO’s Medicare health insurance plan was recently downgraded by Federal regulators by a full star from 4.5 stars to 3.5 stars, putting the plan below average. Rep. Marron’s bill specifically states that the State of Illinois must provide the choice of at least two health insurance providers for seniors on Medicare and Illinois retirees that access benefits under the Total Retiree Advantage Illinois (TRAIL) health insurance. Marron says he has tried for months to get answers from the Pritzker administration on why the change from United Healthcare to Aetna PPO insurance was made and what the plan is moving forward to address provider shortages.
“I’ve basically heard nothing back from CMS or the Governor’s administration, which I find unacceptable,” Marron said. “If the administration doesn’t provide a solution before the General Assembly returns to Springfield in November, I will demand we address this situation through legislation that would take effect in time for the people of central and east-central Illinois that are being negatively impacted by this change. We are talking about real life and death matters for people being able to access the health care that they need. These are seniors that helped build this country and keep it going, and Illinois retirees that gave their working years to public service. They are owed their health care benefits. Stripping away their coverage and providers is cruel. My bill restores choice in health insurance providers for Illinois seniors and retirees. If an appropriate administrative solution is not found, it is imperative that this bill pass when lawmakers return to Springfield.”