CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Discrepancies in healthcare payments in the city of Chicopee were addressed in a news conference Tuesday.
An insurance audit report detailed the process of health and dental premium reconciliation after it was discovered that payments to the city’s insurance provider were made for retired or deceased former employees.
Mayoral candidate Delmarina Lopez had called for an audit into the city’s health insurance premium payouts saying hundreds of thousands of dollars were mistakenly paid.
At the news conference, Chicopee Mayor John Vieau doubled down on previous statements his office made saying these kinds of errors are common, and impacted less than 0.1 percent of the health budget. “This is not uncommon, it happens in just about every municipality and it’s been sensationalized for political gain,” remarked Vieau.
The city was able to negotiate reimbursement of over half the total premiums with further reimbursement still on the table. An additional benefits manager is expected to be hired to help prevent this issue from happening in the future.
There has been a call for an outside audit, though Mayor Vieau expressed full confidence in the findings of this report and the current staff & audit team.