Health benefits for part-time BJC HealthCare employees could be cut

Friday, September 20, 2013 | 7:01 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that part-time BJC HealthCare employees working less than 24 hours a week could soon lose their health benefits.

The Post-Dispatch article, which was published Wednesday, reported that two part-time nurses with the health care organization said some employees had learned from managers and human resources that those working less than the 24 hours will not be eligible for health benefits.

Boone Hospital Center, which is run by BJC HealthCare, employs more than 2,000 people, according to its website.

Hospital Media Relations Manager Jacob Luecke emailed the Missourian this statement from BJC HealthCare:

"Like all employers, BJC annually assesses our medical benefit coverage for our employees. Our goal is to provide comprehensive, affordable coverage that includes resources and programs that encourage employees to be proactive in managing their health.

"We are currently in the process of communicating the 2014 medical benefit plan to our employees and understandably will share the components of the plan with our employees prior to sharing with the general public."

Luecke did not respond to an email Friday afternoon about how many employees could be affected at Boone Hospital Center.

St. Louis-based BJC HealthCare includes 13 hospitals and employed 27,966 people in 2011, according to its website.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that BJC recently laid off 160 employees and currently employs about 25,200 people, 5,560 of whom are part-time workers. The article did not specify how many of those part-time employees work less than 24 hours a week.

BJC HealthCare did not return Missourian calls placed Friday afternoon. On Wednesday, representatives from the organization declined to confirm or deny the planned changes, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch report.

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