GA: Augusta Transit Workers' Health Insurance Reinstated

May 10--Employee health insurance at the private contractor hired to run Augusta Public Transit last year has been reinstated, city officials said Wednesday.

Mobility Transit Services delivered a notice to that effect Wednesday, according to Ken Bray, an attorney for the city.

Cheryl Monkhouse, a spokeswoman for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, confirmed Wednesday that the policy was reinstated effective May 2, the same day it was canceled. In the interim, employees who tried to use their insurance were informed it was canceled.

City officials were unaware of the lapse in health insurance Monday, when they issued a 30-day "cure notice" to Mobility, ordering the company to correct several other problems or risk losing its contract with the city, City Administrator Fred Russell said.

The notice cited "inadequate performance" in several areas, including late or nonpayment of bills that almost led to the power being turned off at Augusta Public Transit facilities, late reporting of bus accidents, and employee drug and alcohol testing that was performed at set, instead of random, times.

The information regarding employee health insurance was the first communication the city has received from Mobility since the notice was issued, but the city expects an eventual full response, Bray said.

The Augusta Commission voted last year to outsource management of the city bus service and hired Mobility, which promised to shave $400,000 from the service's $5 million annual cost.

Copyright 2012 - The Augusta Chronicle, Ga.

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