Troup says city’s insurance problems not likely to be resolved until next week

Brianna Rivera

City Clerk Laura Oakman, left, congratulates Brianna Rivera after she was sworn in as a 3rd Ward alderman during Monday night's meeting of the Quincy City Council. | David Adam

QUINCY — Two aldermen asked Quincy Mayor Mike Troup during Monday night’s meeting about questions they have received about the city’s health insurance plan. Troup responded by saying it will take a few days to fix the problems.

The Police Benevolent and Protective Association Labor Unit 12, which represents the officers and supervisors with the Quincy Police Department, filed a grievance Monday morning against the city of Quincy for failing to provide health insurance or vision coverage to all police officers in violation of its contract with the union. 

Robert Megee, an officer with the Quincy Police Department and the union president of the PB&PA Labor Unit 12, provided Muddy River News several examples of problems police officers claim they have had with their insurance since Jan. 1. In each circumstance, they were told their primary insurance coverage does not exist.

“It’s been an absolute nightmare,” Megee said Monday morning.

Greg Fletcher, R-1, told Troup during Monday’s meeting that some city employees have reached out to him about insurance issues.

“Are we having some hassles with that?” he asked.

“I think for the most part, it’s a typical beginning of a new year,” Troup replied. “We’ve got several meetings scheduled with the insurance companies and local medical providers this week, but I think it’s going to take this week and next week to get everything resolved.”

“That gets people kind of paranoid when they get told they don’t have insurance,” Fletcher said.

“They all have insurance,” Troup said. “You have any calls? Anybody here, please direct them to call me. I’d be happy to talk with them.”

Ben Uzelac, D-7, later echoed Fletcher’s comments. 

“I’ve had a few people reach out saying their insurance wasn’t covered,” he said. “I’ve asked those people to reach out. I don’t know if they did or not, but I haven’t heard any follow-ups.”

Troup said afterward the insurance plan for city employees — not just police union employees — was in place Jan. 1.

“The problem is with all the payments that were made, we had one full year ending, and then we had a stub year ending to start all over Jan. 1,” he said. “The complications of what happened in 2022 and getting everything reconciled to the employees’ accounts at their medical provider is what’s creating the biggest part of the problem. Blue Cross doesn’t pay us fast. When it goes through, we don’t get the payments as fast. Then there are errors in whose account does this go to. We’re still reconciling all of that. 

“We’ve got a meeting this week on Wednesday with (human resources) and our Coalition Health group, and then we’re going to have separate meetings with Blue Cross Blue Shield, Blessing Hospital and Quincy Medical Group.”

Patty Maples, D-6, asked Troup for an update on the status of Adam Yates as the chief of the city’s police department. The Fire and Police Commission offered him a three-year contract on Dec. 13, but an item for aldermen to approve the contract was removed by Troup from the Dec. 27 City Council agenda.

“I think the (fire and police) commissioners have sent out their notices, and Chief Yates is the police chief,” Troup said. “There is no ratification needed by the council. This council authorizes the fire and police commissioners as to what their authorities and responsibilities are, and they ruled in December (and) took him off probation. From then on, based on that, they sent that notice out to me and to all the aldermen. That’s all that’s required.”

Muddy River News reported Dec. 30 that Troup has requested an investigation into the process used to select Yates as Quincy’s police chief last year. That request was sent to the appellate prosecutor’s office because of conflicts of interest with city attorneys and the state’s attorney’s office.

Aldermen also welcomed Brianna Rivera, a Republican who is replacing Parker Freiburg in the 3rd Ward. She was sworn in by City Clerk Laura Oakman.

Alderman also: 

  • Approved the South Side Boat Club to conduct a raffle.
  • Gave Fireworks Authority Inc. permission to hold a fireworks display on Jan. 31 at the Quincy Country Club, 2410 State. 
  • Sent to the Plan Committee a request from Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church a special permit to install a digital ground-mounted sign at 333 S. 36th, as well as a request from Waters Collision Center requesting to amend a special permit to allow for body shop repairs/work to occur at 935 State.
  • Approved Troup’s appointments for Rivera to the Bet on Q Committee, Animal Control Commission, Fire Aldermanic Committee Small Rental Rehabilitation Program, Street Lights/Right of Way and Utilities Committee.
  • Approved the low bid from GFL Environmental for $12,537.20 for dumpster services at the airport, water treatment plant and waste water plant. 
  • Approved a quote from Klingner and Associates for $11,400 to assist with land surveying and the electrical and structural engineering design of a second pump station near the Harrison Street water tower. 
  • Approved a quote from Hydro-Kinetics of St. Louis for $11,733 to replace three aging samplers used for a monthly sample collection. 
  • Approved a quote from USA BlueBook of Gurnee for $22,777.60 for eight Hack online analyzers. 
  • Approved a quote of $8,170 from IMCO Utility Supply Company of Springfield, Ill., to but water main and pipe fittings. 
  • Received an invitation from Emily Lombardi of The District to attend an open house on Wednesday at 725 Hampshire.
  • Were introduced to Shelby Rose, winner of the Miss Quincy Pageant on Saturday, and Molly Gerard, who won the Miss Quincy Outstanding Teen competition.

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