(AP) – A Springfield medical group is requiring patients insured by the state to pay half of their expected surgery bills up front.
Up front payment requirement from the Orthopedic Center of Illinois, comes at a time when payments for the care of state workers, retirees and dependents insured through the State Employees’ Group Insurance Program total $3.66 billion – and are overdue a year and a half or more.
Those delays have grown amid the lack of a permanent state budget.
Illinois State Board of Education employee Gaile Brickler Bee says the policy could require her to pay about $2,800 before she gets a rotator-cuff surgery at the center.
The 62-year-old says she is frustrated by the policy and blames elected officials more than the center’s doctors.