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Mounting Illinois Health Care Bills Rack-Up Interest

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The failure to pass a real budget is driving up the cost of Illinois government. The state hasn’t been paying its bills for employee health care, and interest penalties now exceed $500 million dollars.   It’s no secret credit card companies make their money when people don’t pay their bills in full. Those interest rates cause even a modest bill to grow quickly.

But the state of Illinois would make Visa blush. Mike Hoffman, who heads Central Management Services, says he has just $1 billion to pay $3 billion in healthcare bills. That translates into a long wait for insurance companies, doctors, and other medical providers.

“Overall our hold for our bills if you look at medical and dental and everything else is anywhere from 9 months or 25 months, so over two years.”

State employees are still paying their premiums, and some insurance companies are taking out lines of credit to pay doctors.  Why would they do that? Because they know Illinois will be paying millions in interest. The longer they wait, the more taxpayer money they get to collect.