State-employee labor unions have filed a lawsuit to force Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration to pay medical claims for 146,000 state workers and retirees under self-insurance programs.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday in St. Clair County Circuit Court before a judge considering an earlier lawsuit about government paychecks during the budget impasse.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and other unions say Rauner's decision this month to stop payments for medical claims is an unconstitutional contract violation.
The unions fear with no promise of state payment, doctors will require cash upfront from patients.
The court action also seeks resumption of monthly premium payments to companies that operate managed-care health insurance for another 200,000 employees and retirees.
Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly says the administration is reviewing the court filing.