Lawmakers Fear Low Medicaid-Provider Rates Could Doom Plan

Dec 18, 2017

Lawmakers question whether reimbursement rates in an expanded managed care health plan will be sufficient to keep insurers providing service.

Gov. Bruce Rauner's Department of Healthcare and Family Services is spending $60 billion to expand managed care for Medicaid clients. Officials say it will save $1 billion because of the low rates insurers accepted to participate. 

The House Appropriations-Human Services Committee grilled officials Monday in Chicago over the issue.

Chicago Democratic Rep. Greg Harris is committee chairman. He says insurers will pull out if rates are too low.

Consultant Robert Damler of the actuarial firm Milliman says the state's contract requires insurers to deliver service.

But Harris points out Milliman worked in Iowa too. Critics say that program is collapsing after insufficient reimbursement forced one of three insurers to bolt.