News Release

Robideaux Announces Enhancement to Police & Fire Survivor Benefits
Posted: 11/30/2017 9:00 AM
 

​Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux, with the support of City-Parish Council Chairman Kenneth Boudreaux, announced today that health insurance premiums for surviving dependents of Lafayette police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty will be at the same rate provided to employees.
 
In response to the tragic event that took Corporal Michael Middlebrook’s life, Robideaux, Boudreaux and Lafayette Police Chief Toby Aguillard committed to ensure the financial well-being of the fallen officer’s family.  Aguillard acknowledged earlier this month that LCG’s fallen officer benefits are the “Gold Standard” when compared to other municipalities. He also asked that LCG continue to search for ways to enhance the benefit structure and keep Lafayette as Louisiana’s standard bearer for survivor benefits. 

In early October, the Administration began discussions to amend LCG”s current health plan to provide that surviving dependent’s health insurance premiums remain at the employee rate.  Two issues of concern that required legal research were: 1) Would the proposed amendment to the plan jeopardize the plan’s grandfather status under the Affordable Care Act? And, 2) Would the proposed plan amendment be in violation of Louisiana’s Prohibited Gratuitous Donation statute?
 
Within recent weeks, outside legal counsel provided LCG with opinions which concluded the proposed plan amendment does not jeopardize grandfathered status with respect to the Affordable Care Act  and that Louisiana law includes an expressed exception of “pension and insurance programs for the benefit of public employees” to the anti-donation rule. Additionally, a post-1974 Attorney General opinion reasoned that the same exception to the anti-donation law is extended to dependents of public employees.
 
At the December 5 Lafayette City-Parish Council meeting, Chairman Boudreaux will offer a resolution to endorse the Administration’s amendment to LCG’s employee group health benefit plan which provides for eligibility and premiums related to the continued benefits for dependents of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty.
 
The plan amendment will be retroactively effective for all eligible classes of LCG participants to September 1, 2017.