Dunn: SIU health care concerns being watched

Submitted by Carbondale Times on

Carbondale Times

SIU President Randy Dunn says the university is not yet seeing major problems with employee health care plans amid the ongoing state budget strife, but employees who have issues with a provider should contact SIU administrators right away.

During an address last Thursday in Carbondale, Dunn said the university has gotten “a good response” from the large health providers in the Carbondale area regarding the continuation of employee health care services despite the ongoing state budget impasse.

Earlier this month, the state’s Department of Central Management Services informed some state employees that it may not be able to pay medical providers for service rendered under state employee health care plans.

CMS described a scenario in which without a state budget, it would be unable to pay providers, thus leaving patients themselves to pay up front or in full for services. Dunn said university employees should carry on as usual with their health care.

“You still go present your card, you get care, you get treatment, because the health care program the state administers and self-funds has not been shut down,” Dunn said. “What we are seeing is because there has been a hold on payments from the state to providers in the non-HMO plans means we may start hearing from certain providers that they will require either up-front payments, in-full payments, but so far that seems to have not caught like wildfire. We’ve had a good response from our big providers here in the Carbondale area.”

Dunn said anyone who experiences a requirement for up-front payments from a provider should contact university administrators. Dunn added that while the budget stalemate is a serious new problem, health providers in the state are somewhat used to lagging state reimbursements for health services.

“These providers have been used to these delayed payments, months and months behind,” Dunn said. “To some extent they go, ‘What’s new?’”