By Brian Mosely, editor A paperwork error at the state level resulted in Manchester city employees being deleted from their insurance plan, according to city officials.
As a result, some workers were forced to pay out of their own pockets for medical issues, but the error has since been corrected, according to the city’s finance department. In June, the city’s Board of Mayor and Alderman voted to cover city employees under the state of Tennessee’s Local Government Health Insurance Plan for a period of 24 consecutive months, effective Aug. 1. According to Manchester’s Payroll and Benefits Specialist Lauren Dunithan, when the city began enrolling employees in July, “the state started using a different enrollment method.” Switched forms “[The state] went from doing paper enrollment forms, which we were told to do, to an ‘E-form,’” or electronic enrollment, Dunithan explained. As a result, everything turned in by Manchester was incorrect, Dunithan said, and all Manchester employees were kicked out of the state system. About 140 employees and all their dependents were impacted, however, their information has been entered back into the state system, Dunithan explained, adding that reentering their data “took a little bit of time.” Due to the paperwork glitch, some city employees were without insurance and had to pay 100 percent cash out of pocket, both Dunithan and Chief Financial Officer Bridget Anderson confirmed. “Once they get their card, they can go back to their doctor, and they can run it through their insurance,” Anderson said, and any issues a city employee had can be worked out with their doctors, including any reimbursement. The switch to the state plan came after city employees were told that their insurance had increased by 45 percent due to excessive claims, average age and policies of the Affordable Health Care Act.