Prime ordered to pay $1.6M over cuts to hospital employee healthcare benefits

The National Labor Relations Board has ordered Ontario, Calif.-based Prime Healthcare Services to reimburse hundreds of employees at Centinela Medical Center in Inglewood, Calif., for out-of-pocket increases they incurred when Prime made changes to the caregivers' health insurance.

The NLRB found Prime violated federal labor law when it made a unilateral decision to change workers' healthcare benefits over a five-year period.

The NLRB's decision requires Prime to pay employees an estimated $1.6 million to cover any increase in premiums and copayments during the five-year period, according to a SEIU-UHW news release.

The decision also requires Prime to restore the health plan options and costs that were in effect prior to Jan. 1, 2011.

A Prime spokesperson said, "Centinela Hospital Medical Center is disappointed and disagrees with the NLRB's decision." The hospital is appealing the matter, according to the spokesperson.

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