MCH retirees set to lose health insurance benefits

MCH retirees set to lose health insurance benefits

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - The Ector County Hospital District had their meeting Tuesday evening, where they decided to uphold the elimination of health insurance benefits for retirees. Many are still upset saying they earned the benefits.

"I just didn't think it was very fair. It was kind of backtracking on a promise," said Shelby Bullock.

Bullock's mother-in-law worked for the MCH for years. Now at retirement age, she had no idea that she would have to worry about insurance.

"They were under the impression they would be lifetime benefits," said Bullock.

About 380 retirees will lose their benefits on December 31, 2016. Of those, 219 are 65 years and older.

There was panic for those under 65, but MCH said they will offer a Health Reimbursement Arrangement to bridge the gap until retirees reach medicare age.

Still many are upset, saying these benefits were a promise.

"That's not fair for all those people that give so much of themselves to making sure everybody's healthy and then have their health deteriorate because of it," said Bullock.

Bullock has created a petition to rally together others to push for change:

The petition has only gotten a few signatures but Bullock hopes it will pick up speed and put pressure on the hospital district.

The hospital said, "financial challenges and economic conditions" are the reason for the recent cuts. The cuts should save them $3.9 million for fiscal year 2017.

"Maybe try to find something less disastrous to every day people to cut," said Bullock. "I would just hope that they would reconsider."

Medical Center Hospital says along with the help for those that aren't eligible for Medicare, they will also have an HRA for MCH retirees on Medicare to cover the "Medicare Part D," which is the prescription drug benefit. They will fund the HRA about $22 to $85.27 per month.

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