Carteret Health Care: The Most Affordable Healthcare Provider in the Nation
Carteret, Arkansas (CNN) — Carteret’s health care system has been hailed as a model for the nation, but for some, it has become a source of contention.
The company’s CEO, Chris Jardine, said he doesn’t believe in government subsidies and said his goal is to have the entire system completely private.
The nation’s largest health insurer, which offers private insurance to about 1.6 million customers, is now in the middle of a lawsuit against a former employee for allegedly withholding $1.6 billion in health care benefits from the company.
“We’re here to make a difference.
We’re here for the good of our employees,” Jardina said on CNN’s “New Day” on Monday.
The lawsuit accuses Jardines employees of “defrauding the company and the public” by denying coverage for medical issues, as well as denying the company benefits.
The plaintiffs include an attorney, former employees and a former customer who was denied coverage because of her health problems.
They claim Jardiner’s actions were illegal.
The former employee said Jardiners health care plan was not fully private, and that she had been told that if she was sick and wanted to be treated for it, she needed to have a separate health care appointment.
Jardines spokeswoman Amanda Leggio said in a statement that the company “does not tolerate discrimination and has always followed our legal obligation to provide equal benefits to all employees regardless of their health status.”
Jardine was hired in 2009 as CEO of a regional regional health system that serves about 7 million residents in Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana.
The employees are demanding the company pay back $1 billion of benefits owed to them, including the more than $1 million owed to the former employee, the lawsuit states.
The new lawsuit alleges the former worker was denied access to needed care because she was a woman and not a man.
The lawsuit also accuses the company of violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by failing to provide adequate coverage for employees of color.
The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas on March 23, the same day the president of the American Medical Association (AMA) told reporters that he was “not surprised” by the lawsuit.
Jettine told CNN’s New Day that he has not spoken with the AMA president since the case was announced.
He said the AMA “wouldn’t have brought it up in my office” because he did not speak to the CEO and did not know if the allegations were true.
He said he did speak to CEO Jardin as recently as Tuesday.