Madison Co. employee health plan leaves widower behind - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Madison Co. employee health plan leaves widower behind

Widowers of some county employees may not have access to health care benefits. Widowers of some county employees may not have access to health care benefits.
MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

A new healthcare plan went into effect at the start of 2013 for Madison County employees. County Commissioners approved the switch, but they didn't know that this new healthcare plan did not include coverage to retired deceased persons' spouses.

They found out when a 57-year veteran of the county passed away in July, and his wife learned she wasn't eligible for coverage. Becky, who wished her identity to remain hidden, said her husband warned her of this change the day he died.

Instead of being able to properly mourn her husband, Becky had to start researching health care plans.

"He gave 57 years of his life to the county. It doesn't seem right," she said.

County Commissioner Roger Jones said the county didn't know this would happen, so now he is going to fight to get that coverage back.

"These employees' husbands or wives had devoted their lives, serving this country, thinking after they retired and they were deceased, that their wives would be covered, and they are not covered," he said.

Jones said he could remedy the situation by passing a resolution that would use general county funds to cover the health care cost for the 20-25 people negatively affected by this new plan.

"They are in between what I call a rock and a hard place. Sometimes they have to decide whether they can buy food or health care," he said.

However, Jones said he is having trouble having this item put on the agenda for the commissioners to discuss.

Becky said that the other council members aren't trying to resolve the issue, and she is disappointed by their leadership. Commissioner Jones said the fight is far from over.

"I intend to keep bringing it up and keep pushing until something is done," he said.

Jones said that if you would like to see the commissioners resolve this issue, call your commissioner and let them know it should be discussed.

Copyright 2014 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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