Health insurance

Memos show issue with health insurance at Granite City hospital

GRANITE CITY — The sudden loss of employee insurance at Gateway Regional Medical Center in Granite City has left some workers concerned.

On June 9, according to an email from a GRMC employee, they received an email from Rob Boyd, the company’s chief human resources officer, saying that healthcare benefits were canceled effective June 1. As of June 12, the company “will be providing benefit options to staff to ensure that the loss of coverage is not impactful.”

That includes open enrollment for insurance.

“Our owner, Mike Sarian, and the AHS (American Healthcare Systems, the parent company of GRMC) Corporate Team, are well aware of the issues that this has caused, and as a result, AHS has agreed to cover the premiums for this new coverage during this short-term crisis,” the memo stated. “In addition, AHS will also assist you with medical expenses incurred during the loss of coverage, and you are encouraged to turn those claims into Human Resources.”

According to a copy of a memo provided by the employee that was sent to employees from Joshua Sable, general counsel for Modern HR, Gateway’s insurance provider, the hospital and its parent company “have continually refused to pay a significant amount of money in past due payroll and benefits.”

GRMC officials did not respond to requests for information or comments, and Sable could not be reached to confirm the memo.

Because of that the memo states that Modern HR canceled the employee’s coverage on April 30.

The memo noted that the company has informed AHS of the deductibles for those covered, and that employees should be reimbursed.

It also states that the loss of coverage is a “qualifying event” that allows employees to seek insurance through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

The hospital was purchased this year from Quorum Health Corp. by Los Angeles-based American Healthcare Systems.

It was founded around 1900 as a private facility, then acquired in 1920 by the Sisters of Divine Providence before being sold in 2001.

The sisters operated the hospital, renamed St. Elizabeth Hospital and later St. Elizabeth Medical Center, until 2001, when it was sold to Tennessee-based Community Health Systems, Inc. and renamed Gateway Regional Medical Center.

In 2015 CHS spun off 38 hospitals, including GRMC, creating Quorum Health Corp.

In November it was announced that GRMC was being sold to American Healthcare Systems.

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