Taos health care facility used employee benefits for payroll



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TAOS, N.M. (AP) — The state is investigating a Taos health care facility for leaving 80 workers without health insurance in order to cover paychecks.

KRQE-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1zlAC5K) that state Superintendent of Insurance John Franchini says Tri-County Community Services secretly used employee insurance premiums last year to make payroll.

Franchini says it's against the law to borrow employees' money that is supposed to be invested in benefits.

Officials say Tri-County missed payments to Blue Cross Blue Shield. The health insurance provider then canceled the group policy, leaving some workers stunned with large medical bills.

Tri-County Board Chair Larry Mapes says the company felt at the time they could meet payroll and insurance needs.

Mapes says he is sorry and the agency will make sure workers are not stuck with huge bills.

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Information from: KRQE-TV, http://www.krqe.com

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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