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WILLIAMSON-- A Carterville mom says she was denied medical care for her children because the state isn't paying its bills.
As the Illinois budget crisis drags on, it's impacting more and more people.
Now, some doctors in southern Illinois are limiting services for patients employed by the state or is asking those patients to pay up front.
It is a vicious cycle. The state isn't paying the insurance companies, so insurance companies aren't paying doctors, and the doctors are forced to make changes some families don't like.
Ashley Wright of Carterville says one of the main reasons she and her husband decided to work for SIU was for the benefits.
Now it seems the most important perk - health insurance - is being compromised.
"On one point, I want to be mad at the doctors because I feel like they have a moral obligation to hang in there and not bail on us when times get rough," says Ashley.
During a recent check-up, Ashley's four month old son Noah was denied immunizations by his pediatrician.
The doctor said Ashley's insurance provider wasn't paying its bills. Ashley doesn't know how to fight back.
"We can't go after the doctors, they're not being paid. We can't go after the insurance company, they're not being paid. But how do we fight the state?" she asks.
At one nearby doctor's office, they're now requesting state employees pay out of pocket to later be reimbursed.
They say it's because the explanation of benefits used to say payment would come in four to eight weeks, but now it says "as state funds become available."
"It could be a year, two years, three years. I mean how do we know when the money is going to become available," says Cathy Paul, office manager for a Carbondale doctor.
The office is just now being paid for last July, and they fear the back log will only get worse.
"If you're not getting reimbursed from the insurance company, how do you keep paying your bills?" asks Cathy.
It's an argument Ashley can understand.
"They're jumping ship because they're not being paid. I wouldn't work for free either," she says.
Noah will have to find somewhere soon to get the shots to stay in day care. His mother is not happy about it.
"It's wrong! I'm paying my insurance, they're supposed to pay our doctors and now my kids are suffering," says Ashley.
SIU employees aren't the only ones who may be affected.
This could apply to any state worker from the Department of Transportation to the Department of Corrections.
It depends on the insurance selected and your doctor.
By: Christen Craig
Originally posted by ISHAMAGI
I figured it would come to this at some point. I'd just drop the insurance.
When the system falls apart it all comes down to people. People must do what is right and not worry about money that's why I blame the doctor. If I was in his position I'd help out as many as I could