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Illinois' unpaid health bills put pressure on patients

Chicago Tribune, September 15, 2009

With the state's budget in disarray, Illinois is more than six months behind in sending payments to doctors and hospitals that are due money from a state-funded health insurance plan. Left without payment for so long, some providers have grown anxious and employed debt collectors to apply some pressure. According to the state, more than 120,000 state employees, state government retirees, or dependents who are covered by Illinois' Quality Care Health Plan. The plan owes providers more than $300 million in claims that have been delayed because of the budget gap, state officials said.