Detroit Police Officers Association investigating claims of health care cancelations for members

Union says members have 'bombarded' them with phone calls about loss of coverage for those with Community Blue

Published On: Jan 30 2013 01:29:33 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 03 2013 12:35:33 PM EST
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DETROIT -

The Detroit Police Officers Association says it’s investigating claims from its members that the city has canceled health care for those with Blue Cross Blue Shield Community Blue PPO.

According to a statement on their website, the DPOA says it’s been “bombarded” with phone calls from members who say they lost coverage Wednesday.

“This change has caused some major difficulties for our members and the association is trying to rectify the city’s ‘screw up.’ We will keep you posted,” the DPOA’s statement said.

However, city spokesman Anthony Neely told Local 4 the cancelation was done at the request of 17 DPOA members. He shared with Local 4 a letter that was sent from the city to DPOA President Mark Diez.

The letter follows:

Dear President Diez: 

In follow-up to our conversation today concerning DPOA members allegedly unilaterally dropped from BCBS Community Blue by the City and have no coverage, our investigation into the matter indicates that approximately 17 DPOA members submitted open enrollment applications prior to December 20, 2012, specifically requesting that they be dis-enrolled from BCBS Community Blue and enrolled into COPS Trust. 

Thus, as erroneously reported on your website and to the news media, it was the member's actions which resulted in the termination of their BCBS Community Blue medical plan. These individuals' applications were received, processed and timely forwarded to COPS Trust for activation, effective January 1, 2013. We have confirmed with COPS Trust that they have failed to process these timely submitted changes for your members. We are working with COPS Trust to have the members' contracts processed and effective January 1, 2013. 

I am requesting that DPOA correct its website, which inaccurately identifies the City as the cause of coverage termination, and likewise inform the relevant news media of the outcome of our investigation. Also, I would advise that in the future, we can avoid defamatory and inaccurate accusations, if the City is consulted when problems occur which you believe may be caused by the City.

Thank you, 

Lamont D. Satchel 

Labor Relations Director

Stay with Local 4 News and ClickOnDetroit.com for updates to this developing story.