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More healthcare options for area retirees

URBANA -- Thousands of retirees who lost their health coverage may have other options.
URBANA -- Thousands of retirees who lost their health coverage may have other options. Health Alliance lost its bid for a contract with the state, meaning it will not be able to provide Medicare for about 6,000 people. But the companies which did win the contract are picking up the slack.

Health Alliance says the phone has been ringing off the hook with state retirees who are confused and frustrated about changing health coverage. But, there are four other Medicare plans to choose from. While Carle does not offer those plans, another Urbana hospital does.

Presence Covenant Medical Center says it does accept the plans which won the bid: Aetna, Humana Health, Humana Benefits and United Healthcare. If state retirees end up having to switch to one of these plans, they can find new doctors at this hospital. Friday afternoon, representatives from Presence said they welcome all new patients.

Doctor Jared Rogers said, "You always feel bad when people lose the opportunity to use something they are used to, but we are there to accommodate them, to serve them and take excellent care of them."

Retirees will have to work with the state about changing their health coverage. The Department of Central Management Services has not said what that process will be. Christie Clinic is another place these patients can go. They accept two of the four plans.

As for Health Alliance, it says it lost the bid due to a technical requirement it believes should have been overlooked. It's in the process of appealing the decision.
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