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Illinois Stops Paying Health Care Claims For State Employees' Self-Insured Plans

(CBS) -- The state budget crisis is about to hit tens of thousands more, including many state employees and doctors and dentists who treat them.

Today is day 77 Illinois has been without a budget. CBS 2's Dana Kozlov explains why some insurance claims won't be paid.

A medical emergency could now bring a money crisis to workers who get their insurance through the state. Illinois' Department of Central Management Services just informed them, via a memo, that Illinois can no longer pay medical or dental claims to providers for those who are self-insured, affecting, state employees, university employees and their dependents.

In all, it impacts almost 150,000 self-insured people.

A Central Management Services spokesperson says no state budget, means no appropriation which means no way to pay those claims. She says they were ok until now because they were still paying claims from last year. But not anymore.

"That's where the concern is gravest that providers could ask employees or retirees to pay cash up front for their healthcare," said Anders Lindall AFSCME spokesman.

Just last week, State Comptroller Leslie Munger warned of more no-budget fall out.

"The situation will become more dire," she said.

CMS officials are quick to point out that workers' insurance will still be intact and they will be reimbursed once a budget is in place. But Anders Lindall blames the crisis on Governor Bruce Rauner, saying he could have used his line item veto power last June to avoid this.

"We're in uncharted waters," Lindall said.

Right now, a CMS spokesperson says fully insured state workers, or those with HMO's, are not affected, at least for now.

In response, a spokesperson for Governor Rauner blames the state legislature's failure to pass a balanced budget as the reason for this mess.

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