Alert
Close

Take AARP’s Smart Driver course and you could save money on your car insurance. Learn more

Highlights

Open

most popular
ARTICLES

Viewed

work
PROGRAMS

Best Employers for Workers Over 50

See the latest winners of this AARP recognition program.

Employer Resource Center

Attract and retain top talent in a changing workforce.

Could High Medical Bills Trigger Firing?

As her husband fought prostate cancer, Phillis Dewitt, 47, never imagined her own court fight was brewing.

But once it was clear that Dewitt’s husband, Tony, was not going to get better, her supervisor at Proctor Hospital in Peoria, Ill., where she worked as a nurse manager, began asking questions about his treatments. Tony’s medical claims ran as high as $177,826 in 2004. 

Under a self-funded medical plan, the hospital paid claims of up to $250,000 a year for each employee; above that amount, any expenses were paid by the hospital’s insurance policy.

In 2005, staff was informed that the hospital needed to cut costs, and within months Dewitt was fired. No reason was given. Now she’s suing. 

“For me it’s about principle,” says Dewitt, whose husband died in 2006. “I don’t think you should be able to terminate someone with a perfect employment record because their spouse is disabled.”

Hospital representatives declined to discuss Dewitt’s termination, citing privacy concerns, but did say it had nothing to do with health care costs.

The case is set to go to a jury trial in August.

Michelle Diament is a freelance writer based in Memphis, Tenn.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Jobs You Might Like

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Woman sitting on sofa using laptop
membership adt

Small business owners save 20% on new installation of any new ADT security system.

Mujer en la parte de afuera de so negocio

Free quotes for members from the AARP® Small Business Insurance Program.

Member Benefits

Renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Explore Your Learning Possiblities