Saint Francis Medical Center on Tuesday announced a program that will reimburse Cape Girardeau Public School District employees up to $500 per family if they choose to include the hospital in their 2014 insurance network, which will cost district employees about $40 a month. The Cape Girardeau Public School District Board earlier this month approved a "narrow network" health-insurance plan offered by Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, saving the district $317,000 for 2014. Saint Francis, Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis and facilities owned and operated by the two hospitals are not included in the network. Southeast Hospital and other St. Louis hospitals are in the network. If a district employee wishes to include Saint Francis and Barnes facilities in their health-insurance network, they can pay an additional $41.30 per month. If an employee used Saint Francis or Barnes facilities, they would receive only out-of network benefits, according to district information. The school district is one of the largest employers in the county. Those who are covered or partly covered by government programs such as Medicare, Medicaid or VA, or are covered by federal supplements, will not be reimbursed because of federal regulations. Superintendent James Welker said the school district board has had "no official correspondence or communication from Saint Francis" regarding the program.
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