By Tony Parra
Roosevelt County General Hospital Board members decided to go in a new direction for a health care plan for employees during Thursday’s board meeting.
Members decided in favor of changing to a risk management plan similar to the health care plan state policemen, school employees and employees for Roosevelt County have, according to James D’Agostino, RGH administrator. He said RGH employees are currently under the Southwest Life and Health Insurance plan.
D’Agostino said there are currently 57 employees enrolled in a health care plan out of the total of 105 full-time RGH employees who qualify. D’Agostino said RGH employees have stated they are unsatisfied with their current health care plan and its benefits.
Darwin Chenault, RGH board member, said the new state risk management plan has a tax advantage over the Southwest Life and Health Insurance Plan. Employees will pay less taxes and this will help offset the cost difference.
“There is a substantial benefit with the new health care plan,” Chenault said.
Hospital officials listed benefits such as an option for a vision plan, employee assistance for personal problems at home (i.e. marriage issues), and a flexible account, not offered by the current health care plan.
D’Agostino said they must now conduct meetings informing employees of the change and answering any questions in regards to the costs and additional benefits. Benefits of the new plan include
The goal is to have the new health care plans implemented by Feb. 1 after state insurance employees visit the RGH to explain the health care plan to employees, according to D’Agostino.
The change would be for one year and after one year RGH officials and board members can review how successful the change was and how employees felt about the new benefits and cost. They can then decide to keep the plan or change to another health care plan.