Hospital employee needs 4 more hours to qualify for insurance

Sharon Newman's son, Rylan, is terminally ill

Employee trying to get hours to obtain health benefits

COLUMBIA, Mo. - An employee at a local hospital is trying to find a way to gain more hours to provide health insurance to her terminally-ill son.

Rylan Newman's family recently discovered there are no other treatment options for his cancer.

His mother, Sharon, is currently working 20 hours a week at Boone Hospital Center.

According to BJC HealthCare, employees need a minimum of 24 hours to be considered full-time and qualify for health insurance through the company.

Right now, there are no plans to allow her to get the four extra hours.

Hospital officials say they changed the benefits in September. The biggest change was the hours needed to be considered a full-time employee.

Family members told ABC 17 News they have asked at least twice to get Sharon four more hours per week, but they were rejected both of those times.

They say Sharon may have to start looking for other jobs.

Family members claim the mother was told by her manager, neither the hospital nor the manager caused Rylan's cancer.

ABC 17 News was not able to confirm that with the hospital because officials would not comment on conversations between employees, but the family says there were stunned.

"She was trying to make a point that it doesn't matter what you're going through, that you are an employee and employee only and we don't care about anything that happens to you," said Mark Newman, Rylan's father.

Boone Hospital released the following statement:

"This September, Boone Hospital informed staff members about changes to the BJC HealthCare 2014 benefits package. Among those changes was a requirement that employees must work 24 hours per week to qualify for our health benefits.

Since that time, Boone Hospital leadership has worked on a one-on-one basis with impacted employees to help them retain health insurance coverage, including advising employees about health insurance options available outside our system."

The Newman family has set up a fund at Commerce Bank. Donations can be made to the "Rylan Newman Fund" at any bank location.

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