Peoria Public Radio Staff
Thu October 24, 2013
State Sen. Rose: conspiracy to shut out Health Alliance
State Senator Chapin Rose says state regulators conspired to shut out Health Alliance on a technicality. The Mahomet Republican was among the lawmakers in a legislative hearing Wednesday, questioning the decision to choose four other providers of Medicare Advantage retiree contracts.
Those with Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability questioned why Central Management Services didn’t even bother to open up a Health Alliance bid to see what it would cost. Rose says the move makes even less sense… after learning the Urbana-based insurer was the low bidder.
“I mean they left savings on the table for the taxpayers. And they don’t seem to be bothered by that. I mean the way this should work – the way the taxpayers are supposed to get fair value for their dollar – is you go out to bid – and everybody goes out to bid and everybody puts in bids as interested, and you go with the cheapest bidder – right? Well in this instance, they rigged the bids, so that certain bidders wouldn’t qualify. It only happens to be that those bidders were the lowest bidders.”
Health Alliance was left out of the list of retiree plans because it didn’t meet a series of requirements regarding the number of years’ experience in those plans. The insurer wasn’t chosen for employee and retiree coverage in 2011, but uproar from lawmakers and court action prompted a reversal. Rose says the Quinn administration is retaliating.
He says it’s a possible another hearing could be held when lawmakers return to Springfield in a couple of weeks – saying ‘the fight isn’t over’. But legislators can’t veto the state’s decision outright.