Retired city employees uneasy about health insurance - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Retired city employees uneasy about health insurance

Posted: Updated:
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Chattanooga City Council members are scrambling to fix a major mix-up with insurance for the city's retirees. About three weeks ago, the council voted to switch providers and enter into an agreement with United Healthcare.

But retirees say they weren't given any notice before the vote. 

It's not clear how many retirees have insurance through the city, but at least 15 retired Chattanooga police officers were at Tuesday's city council meeting. Janice Atkinson was among them. She says she found out the city was switching providers through Facebook. She says the HR department told her, her coverage would stay the same.   

 “They said that we would not lose any of our doctors any of our providers that we would have access to everything nothing changed but that's not the case,” said Atkinson.

Atkinson retired from the police department in 2006. She has a heart condition and gets treatment at the Chattanooga Heart Institute. 

“I called the Chattanooga Heart Institute and told them I was going from Blue Cross to United Healthcare and was told quite emphatically that they do not accept United Healthcare.” 

More than a dozen retirees had a similar experience. City council members voted to switch insurance providers on November 14. According to the minutes, Human Resources Director Tina Camba said that "this was the best move." She also described “the ways HR will communicate the new health plan to current retirees.”

“There was never an intention to hold out anything but what was offered to us and the vote of the committee was based upon that presentation and the determination that that was the best plan,” said Camba. “United healthcare held out to us that there would be no changes to the providers.”
Several council members say the information provided to them was misleading. 

“I wouldn't have voted on anything knowing that we would displace anyone or to know that that would impact you guys' lives in that matter,” said Councilman Anthony Byrd.

“We want to get to the bottom of this legally I want to make sure that we're not stuck in some fraudulent contract,” said Councilwoman Carol Berz.

The contract with United Healthcare would start January 1st. However, the council agreed not to sign until they get more answers. They will discuss it next Tuesday during their Strategic planning meeting. Camba and several other retirees plan to be there.

WEEKLY CIRCULARS
  • NewsMore>>

  • Tractor trailer overturns on I-24 W at ridgecut

    Tractor trailer overturns on I-24 W at Ridgecut

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 6:33 AM EDT2018-04-25 10:33:09 GMT
    A tractor-trailer has overturned on Interstate 24 west just passed the Ridgecut.More
    A tractor-trailer has overturned on Interstate 24 west just passed the Ridgecut.More
  • Opioid treatment gap in Medicare: methadone clinics

    Opioid treatment gap in Medicare: methadone clinics

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 3:56 AM EDT2018-04-24 07:56:11 GMT
    Wednesday, April 25 2018 6:30 AM EDT2018-04-25 10:30:51 GMT
    (AP Photo/Kevin D. Liles, File). FILE - In this March 7, 2017, file photo, the CEO of a methadone clinic holds a 35 mg liquid dose of methadone in Rossville, Ga. The drug is the oldest and most effective of approved medications used to treat opioid add...(AP Photo/Kevin D. Liles, File). FILE - In this March 7, 2017, file photo, the CEO of a methadone clinic holds a 35 mg liquid dose of methadone in Rossville, Ga. The drug is the oldest and most effective of approved medications used to treat opioid add...
    Opioid overdoses killed 1,354 Americans ages 65 and older in 2016, but Medicare doesn't cover the oldest proven treatment for opioid addiction: methadone.More
    Opioid overdoses killed 1,354 Americans ages 65 and older in 2016, but Medicare doesn't cover the oldest proven treatment for opioid addiction: methadone.More
  • Southwest has been faced with fines, union safety complaints

    Southwest has been faced with fines, union safety complaints

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 10:06 AM EDT2018-04-24 14:06:10 GMT
    Wednesday, April 25 2018 6:28 AM EDT2018-04-25 10:28:46 GMT
    (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File). FILE - In this April 4, 2011 file photo, a Southwest Airlines plane sits in a remote area of the Yuma International Airport, after the plane had a section of fuselage tear from the plane during a flight in Yuma, Ariz....(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File). FILE - In this April 4, 2011 file photo, a Southwest Airlines plane sits in a remote area of the Yuma International Airport, after the plane had a section of fuselage tear from the plane during a flight in Yuma, Ariz....
    Until last week, Southwest Airlines had a string of 47 years without a passenger dying in an accident, but it has also paid millions in fines over safety.More
    Until last week, Southwest Airlines had a string of 47 years without a passenger dying in an accident, but it has also paid millions in fines over safety.More
Powered by Frankly