Family of slain officers to keep lower health insurance rate

Adrien Middlebrook, the widow of slain Lafayette Police Cpl. Michael Middlebrook, enters city hall Tuesday with her attorney, Allyson Prejean, and police officers. (Photo: Claire Taylor/Daily Advertiser)

The survivors of Lafayette police officers and firefighters killed on duty — including survivors of Cpl. Michael Middlebrook — are now eligible for health insurance at the same cost as before their loved one’s death.

The Lafayette City-Parish Council amended the city’s group health benefits plan Tuesday to keep health insurance premium costs down for survivors of city police officers and firefighters killed while on the job.

The change was made retroactive to Sept. 1, allowing Middlebrook’s family to be eligible for the lower premiums.

“I think this is a really good night for Lafayette,” Council Chairman Kenneth Boudreaux said.

A 9-year veteran of the police force, Middlebrook was killed Oct. 1 at the Big Boy Discount Zone convenience store on Moss Street when he responded to a call.

RELATED:Lafayette police survivors eligible for $2 million from city

Administrators were concerned that the insurance proposal would jeopardize the plan’s grandfather status under the Affordable Care Act and whether the change would violate the state’s Prohibited Gratuitous Donation law.

If the city loses its grandfather status, that could mean higher premiums.

City-Parish Attorney Paul Escott said he received independent legal opinions that the change is acceptable under the Affordable Care Act and does not violate the state law regarding donations.

The council voted unanimously to make the change.

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