Lafayette, LA – The widow and children of murdered Lafayette Police Department Corporal Michael Middlebrook were told by the city that they were set to lose their health insurance as of midnight Saturday, according to The Daily Advertiser.
Now, the Police Association of Lafayette says that after meeting with the city, they are confident that the family will get benefits.
Lafayette Police Corporal Michael Middlebrook was shot and killed during a gunfight at a Big Boy convenience store on Sunday night, October 1.
The incident occurred at about 10 PM at the Big Boy convenience store on Moss Street near Van Buren. Corporal Middlebrook responded to the store for a report of a shooting, and the suspect opened fire upon his arrival, according to 710 KEEL.
Corporal Middlebrook was fatally shot, and the suspect fled on foot for a short distance before he was captured.
He leaves behind his wife, 3-year-old daughter, and two step-daughters.
City-Parish Council Chairman Kenneth Boudreaux initially responded to the reports of the family losing insurance, claiming that they will have insurance beyond Saturday, but the city otherwise refused to discussed the issue.
Their solution, according to the Advertiser, was to offer the family COBRA benefits. COBRA can stop any gap in coverage, but the cost of a COBRA plan is passed on to the family, for $853 a month.
That price may even be more expensive than plans on the state’s healthcare marketplace.
The insurance issue was created because the city hadn’t lost an officer since the 1960s, and hadn’t updated their policies on insurance for line of duty deaths since then.
“I think what’s happening is that there is a policy in place but the policy just seems a bit antiquated. The long term fix is to make sure we have a standing policy that if this were to happen to anyone ever again that we’re ready to go,” Kenneth Boudreaux later told KATC.
“We have done the things that are necessary and there is a process to make sure the family, the widow of Corporal Middlebrook and the children, the dependents don’t face any hardships and that is the most important thing to us right now.”
The Louisiana chapter of the non-profit Concerns of Police Survivors will also be assisting the family.