Greene Co. hospital employees at risk of losing health insurance

Financial issues at Greene Co. hospital

EUTAW, AL (WBRC) - Some Greene County hospital employees are at risk tonight of losing their healthcare insurance due to on-going financial issues at their rural hospital.

Nearly 50 employees could lose their insurance by the end of the month. The hospital board president says the hospital is behind on its bills.

In a letter, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union says the hospital failed to make timely employer contributions to the insurance fund. Because of that, the letter says employee healthcare benefits will be terminated by January 31.

Hospital board president John Zippert tells us it’s not easy running a rural hospital. He says they are struggling to keep the doors open.

"Part of this is we have to juggle our bills. So we don't pay every bill, every month and we don't pay every bill on time and that's been the way what we've had to do to keep the hospital open,” Zippert said.

Hospital employees did not want to go on camera for fear of losing their jobs, but they are shocked by all of this. The hospital says employees can join a Blue Cross plan at a higher price or they can shop for plans on the Affordable Care marketplace.

About a year ago, the hospital did work out a deal with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office to receive money from electronic bingo in the county, but that’s not enough to help pay the bills. Zippert says the state should consider expanding Medicaid to help small hospitals stay alive.

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