Detroit police officers left without insurance after coverage switch

Detroit police union members say they don't have health care coverage; recent switch may be to blame

Published On: Jan 03 2013 05:30:04 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 03 2013 06:09:23 PM EST
DETROIT -

The Detroit Police Officers Association says it is being bombarded by members who are calling to say they have no health care coverage.

The union's secretary treasurer is in the same boat.

"I am uninsured. My husband went for a prescription and was denied. I am told that he was no longer covered on my policy ... my policy is canceled. If he wanted his prescription it would be $230," said Donna Latouf, DPOA's secretary treasurer.

Read more: Detroit police union: Members have lost health care

The problem involves officers who switched from Blue Cross coverage, which ended in late December, to a plan called "COPS Health Trust." The effective date of the new plan is in dispute.

"That's a crushing blow to them, especially when they're working in the type of conditions that they are in the city of Detroit," said Bernie Cybulski, DPOA vice president.

On its website, the DPOA accuses the city of Detroit of screwing up. However, the city's labor relations director says "these individuals' applications were received, processed and timely forwarded to COPS Trust for activation, effective Jan.1, 2013.

But the COPS Trust administrator says the coverage wasn't supposed to begin until a month later.

"I'm upset. I have a family of five on my policy. Nobody's covered. I am an uninsured officer," said Latouf.

The city and the union expect that members will be covered retroactively, though details have not been worked out.