Insurance coverage

How Blue Family survivors filled a gap in insurance coverage years after the March 22 tragedy

MARATHON COUNTY, Wis. (WSAW) — Health insurance is essential, especially if you have a young family.

“Raising healthy kids and wanting to make sure you can do your best for them is also making sure you have resources,” said Kara Weiland, widow of the Everest Metro Police Detachment. . Jason Weiland.

But when you unexpectedly lose the person who signed up for health insurance, the last thing on your mind is trying to get all that paperwork in order.

“You really try to get by day by day,” Kara said. “And then you have all these options available to you, and you just want the easy option of making something stay the same.”

When her husband was killed in the line of duty on March 22, 2017, Kara noticed a loophole that existed in the law. At that time, health insurance premiums were covered by municipalities for the families of deceased firefighters, but not for law enforcement.

“So I was asked to speak with two other spouses and really work to make sure they were aware of this discrepancy,” Kara said.

In September 2019, Kara found herself before a packed legislature in Madison, hoping her words would make a difference to other blue families and give them peace of mind. Less than a month later, it was signed into law.

“A blue family is really one thing. We really care about each other, and I think we all knew the importance of doing something, and I knew that if someone was put in my place, I didn’t want them to have the same obstacles as me,” Kara added. .

She recently contacted the legislature to see if there had been any problems with the law since it was passed. There are not any. But Kara said in that case, no news, that’s good news.

“That’s how we see things. I hope it’s one of those things, that now that it’s in place, there aren’t a lot of other bands to figure out and everything runs smoothly.

Under the Police and Fire Insurance Act, spouses will be covered until age 65 and children will be covered until age 26. It covers departments at the national and local levels, as well as within the University of Wisconsin and Marquette University system.

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