ODESSA, TX (KWES) - On December 19, a lawsuit was filed from 176 former Medical Center Hospital employees against the Ector County Hospital District over benefits. Retirees claim their insurance coverage is being cut by the hospital board due to funding.
On Friday, Chief Financial Officer, Jon Riggs, said the hospital is not leaving these retirees without coverage; they are just providing a different way of coverage.
"We do care about our retirees and we are providing a different method of providing them health insurance," Riggs said. "I think that's the biggest thing is that there is a change in the way we are providing health insurance coverage to our retirees."
Instead of the original benefits plan, retirees will be given a pre-funded Health Reimbursement Account.
"I think the real benefit to this, and it's actually an enhancement, is that we're allowing now the employees to take control of their insurance coverage," Riggs said.
The retirees will still be funded on the same level that they would be, if they were still on Medical Center' Hospital's plan.
For those under the age of 65, retirees will be given a pre-funded amount of $12,000 a year into that HRA.
Retirees over the age of 65 eligible for Medicare will be given a little over a thousand dollars into a similar account designed to help them purchase a Medicare supplemental plan.
No hearing has been set for the lawsuit.