LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Teachers are furious and frustrated with their health insurance for not paying up.
Teachers Health Trust (THT Health) covers around 18,000 teachers and their dependents. Many are planning to attend a rally Thursday evening outside of the Clark County School District (CCSD) school board meeting, to demand healthcare funding.
Right now, the crux of the issue is that the amount of money THT Health is getting is less than the amount of money needed to pay out an increase in medical claims.
According to documents from the local teacher’s union, the Clark County Education Association (CCEA), THT Health continues to see an increase in claims, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Teachers tell 8 News Now that they just want their bills paid. “In the last week, I’ve gotten several claims in the mail that have not been paid,” said Rebecca Krshul, a teacher at Spring Valley High School.
Krshul is one of many CCSD teachers dealing with a healthcare headache. She says THT Health is not taking care of her medical bills, and when she called them, she says she was not happy with the response.
“They basically told me, ‘There are thousands of teacher claims that have been denied. You’re just going to have to be patient,'” Krshul said, recounting the phone conversation. “Don’t tell me just to be patient. I need more than that.”
Now, she is taking action. She will join teachers at a rally outside of Thursday night’s CCSD school board meeting to demand healthcare funding.
“It shouldn’t have to come to this point to make change, but it often does,” Krshul said.
THT Health has hired a new CEO with “extensive experience in healthcare,” has two new health plans designed to align better with the revenue THT Health receives, and is changing its Governing Board. In a CCEA document, the teacher’s union lists other upgrades being made.
But educators such as Cimarron-Memorial High School teacher Kendall Parnes, who is saddled with an unpaid surgery bill of $15,000, is not too confident.
“I think it’ll just kind of put a lid on the problem for now,” Parnes said. “What we really need care about is, how are we going to pay the bills? We don’t want this going to collections.”
In May, CCSD gave THT Health an advance of $35 million. But CCEA wants the school district to do more when it comes to contributions toward educators’ monthly healthcare premiums. But with existing budget issues across CCSD, Parnes has her doubts.
“Where is that money going to come from?” Parnes asked.
Even with the changes, Krshul wants proof of the progress.
“It’s lovely to make promises, right?” Krshul said. “I’d like to see action.”
8 News Now reached out to CCEA for more information, but they said no one was available on Wednesday. 8 News Now also did not hear back from THT Health.