SAN ANTONIO – Federal investigators have indicted the CEO and owner of a San Antonio home health care company on nine counts related the theft of nearly $140,000 of employee health insurance premiums, court records obtained Friday by KSAT show.
According to an indictment unsealed this week, Superior Home Health Services owner and CEO Belinda Jo Juarez kept the premiums deducted from employees’ paychecks from August 2017 through at least March 2018 without passing them on to their health insurance providers.
Prosecutors say Juarez did this with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas and Humana, which each canceled their insurance contracts with Superior.
The contract cancellations referenced in the indictment appear to only be in regard to employee insurance coverage. Three weeks after this story was initially published, Juarez’s lawyer emailed KSAT to say both insurance companies still offer coverage for Superior’s clients who are admitted for service.
Between January and April of 2018, Superior had no insurance coverage from any provider, but Juarez continued to have insurance premiums withheld from employee paychecks, according to the indictment.
Employees weren’t notified their premiums weren’t being paid or that their coverage wasn’t active, according to the indictment, and some ended up being charged for health care services they thought were covered.
The indictment tallies a total of $139,799 between August 2017 and March 2018 of collected employee premiums that weren’t paid forward to insurance. However, the indictment only lists $77,691 between November 2017 and March 2018 for the theft and embezzlement charges.
According to the indictment, Juarez sent wage payment documentation to employees falsely indicating money had been withheld for health insurance premiums from August 2017 to July 2018.
Juarez was indicted Nov. 16 on one count of conspiracy; five counts of theft or embezzlement in connection with health care benefits, as well as aiding and abetting; and three counts of false statements relating to health care matters, as well as aiding and abetting.
The indictment makes reference to co-conspirators but does not name any.
Online court records show Juarez was arrested on Monday. She was released Tuesday on a $20,000 bond.
Superior Home Health Services’ corporate office is located in the 8000 block of Vantage Drive, near the intersection of I-10 and Callaghan Road, though its website lists it as also having offices in Eagle Pass, Del Rio, Uvalde, McAllen, and Brownsville.
The company’s website also lists another company, Superior Hospice, but the indictment only references Superior Home Health Services.
According to the website, Superior Home Health Services provides nursing care as well as speech, occupational, and physical therapy in a patient’s home.
KSAT emailed Juarez and left a voicemail for her attorney but did not immediately hear back.