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Local teacher says new health plan is costly

Posted at 12:00 AM, Feb 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-16 09:26:02-05

They take care of your kids all day, but now many Clark County School District teachers say they are not being taken care of by their insurance.

13 Action News received numerous emails from teachers who say the new health insurance is putting them and their families at risk.
 
A special education teacher made us aware of her daughter's situation. She's a normal, happy teenager now stuck in her hospital bed.
 
Darline Stingley is too weak to walk; her body has wasted away from her illness.
 
"It started with just simple stomach aches, so first we thought it was the flu, and we didn't take much notice of it, but her health just kept declining," said teacher and mother, Linda Stingley.
 
Eventually Darline was diagnosed with Median Arcuate Ligament syndrome, or MALS, an illness where one of the muscles compresses an artery that goes to the stomach.
 
Now, all of her calories come from a bag, directly into a vein in her arm. Linda said she fought for months to get the insurance company to cover a trip to UCLA for the nearest specialist who treats the illness.
 
"What they have been doing is merely maintaining it because any physician that can actually treat it is not here in Las Vegas," said Linda.
 
A spokesperson with WellHealth Quality Care said they cannot tell us anything about Darline's situation because they are not the insurance company.
 
They said Teachers Health Trust has had "financial struggles" so they were been brought in to help.
 
Teachers Health Trust refused to speak with us, and gave us a statement through WellHealth, which says in part, "we take great pride in creating solutions when complex medical circumstances arise."
 
After prodding from Linda, her friends and 13 Action News, Darline was able to get an appointment at UCLA.
 
However, Linda says she and Darline are only one example of how their new health insurance is falling short. She says her deduction for the insurance has doubled and co-pays have also gone up.
 
"Most of my teachers, in all honesty, cannot afford to go see a primary care physician," said Linda. "So, we're sick and we can't go see the doctor? This is America, this is not a third world nation. I can't believe that the health care system is like that here. It doesn't seem fair at all. We're pretty upset. We're very angry actually. We have the right to have basic health care and insurance and you need to take care of your teachers here."
 
We also reached out to the Clark County School District. They said as part of the new teacher contact, the district did agree to provide an increased contribution to teacher's healthcare.
 
WellHealth Quality Care sent a short statement saying, "WellHealth Quality Care is continuing to work with the Teachers Health Trust's complex care team to ensure this patient is able to receive the care she needs. "
 
To read the full statement, click here.