Tracy Wood over at the Voice of OC has found out from the City of Santa Ana the “supposed” reasonwhy Santa ana Mayor Miguel Pulido was collecting city paidÂ health care benefits while he was also getting the same from the Orange County Transportation Authority.
It was the city of Santa Ana’s fault that, for more than three years, Mayor Miguel Pulido received health benefits from both the city and the Orange County Transportation Authority, according to a letter from City Manager David Ream released Wednesday.
In the letter to OCTA Chief Executive Will Kempton, Ream said the city “continued [Pulido's] insurance coverage on an annual basis without his knowledge, participation and/or consent.” Ream’s letter included a copy of a Pulido letter, written this week, asking Santa Ana to drop his city health insurance.
Yet how Pulido could be unaware that he was receiving health and dental coverage from the city since 2007 is still unknown. The mayor didn’t respond to a request to discuss the issue, and Ream, according to an assistant, left on vacation shortly before a reporter called for an interview.
In his letter to Kempton, Ream enclosed a 2007 form, signed by Pulido, that OCTA directors were required to fill out. Pulido’s form, signed and dated Jan. 8, 2007, said he wanted to continue receiving benefits through OCTA and opt out of Santa Ana’s program. That form is on file with OCTA, an agency spokesperson confirmed.
But it’s not clear how or when Pulido notified Santa Ana that he wanted to drop the city’s health coverage. Ream’s letter to Kempton simply says Pulido “never authorized reenrollment” in the city plan. Read Tracy’s full story here.
Most employee health plans roll over existing members in to the same plan every year. The only time a form gets filled out is when there is a change. Maybe Santa Ana’s system is different than most and you have to reenroll every year. Of course, if that were the case, then why was Pulido reenrolled multiple times without “reenrollling?” What also seems strange is that this explanation is so completely different from the one Pulido gave previously. Orange County Register’s Tony Saavedra reported on August 26th;
Pulido said he knew he was getting double medical benefits, which meant he could use one plan when the other didn’t offer the coverage he needed. “I didn’t understand any other ramifications,” he said.
So I’ve got to wonder why we should believe that the city staff [Ream] dropped the ball and Pulido didn’t know? He did after all, sign the form in 2007 indicating that he knew he had to cancel his city benefits to collect the OCTA benefits. He did tell the OC Register that he knew he had two separate plans in case one plan didn’t offer the coverage he needed.
So what do you believe?
Pulido told the city to cancel benefits and he didn’t know he was still getting them? Or do you believe the excuse “The dog ate my paperwork?”