UCC to discuss state’s proposed HMO switch

Illinois’ decision to drop Health Alliance, a health maintenance organization, from its health care plan for state employees will be a topic of conversation at the Urbana City Council meeting on Monday.

There is a resolution on the agenda that asks the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services and Gov. Pat Quinn to review the decision.

Health Alliance is an Urbana-based insurance company that insures University employees who have health insurance through their employment.

State employees currently covered by Health Alliance would have to switch to Blue Cross Blue Shield if the proposed change is implemented.

Eric Jakobsson, Ward 2, expressed displeasure with the decision at last week’s meeting, saying he would carry petitions to remove the governor from office if Health Alliance is dropped from the state’s health care plan.

The council will also vote on a resolution allocating $3,798,575 to the AssistUrbana Program, which promotes homeownership by offering down payment and closing cost assistance to low-income families.

The resolution allocates the funds to the City of Aurora and to Kane, Dupage, Will and Kendall Counties for the purpose of promoting affordable housing.

The city has the option between of ceding the funds to other Illinois cities and counties or rather keeping the funds to promote housing projects in Urbana.

However, the city is not currently pursuing any such projects. The funds must be allocated by May 1.

The council will also vote on two ordinances furthering the development of an indoor soccer facility at 2400 N. Willow Rd. and on the proposals recommended to the city council at last week’s meeting.