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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Power of the People Yields Win in Insurance Policy Change


Just days before it was to go into effect, the decision to remove adult disabled dependents from their parent’s health insurance, was halted.

The initial push to terminate the coverage was led by Chris Howlett, the Director of the Department of Transformation and Shared Services Employee Benefits Division. Howlett stated he was “looking at savings for the state and looking at people who appeared to have double coverage.”

The decision was not publicized, and came as a shock to families like the Bullards. Rhonda, a school councilor with the Mansfield School District , received a letter notifying her that her son, Alex, would be removed from her insurance. Bullard’s son, age 27, has Down Syndrome.

It didn’t take long before elected officials and Howlett’s office began feeling the backlash over the decision, which was never brought before the State and Public School Life and Health Insurance Board.

Mere days before the policy change was to go into effect on January 1, Chief Transformation Officer, Amy Fletcher, announced she had overturned the decision. Fletcher stated that after meeting with Representatives Jack Ladyman, chairman of the House Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor; and Mark Lowery, chairman of the House Committee on Insurance and Commerce, the decision was reached to “do what was morally right.” Another legislative proponent of the reversal was District 75 Representative Lee Johnson. Johnson serves on the House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee and the House City, County and Local Affairs Committee.

The announcement came as an early Christmas gift for families like the Bullards, who responded, “Praise the Lord! My baby boy will get to keep my health insurance!” She went on to thank Representatives Johnson and Ladyman for leading the fight to overturn Howlett’s decision. “I give all the glory to God for taking care of us in this storm! Alex says thanks everyone for the support and prayers! We did it! The fight was worth it!”

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Tammy Teague
Tammy Teague
Tammy is the heart behind the brand. Her tenacity to curate authentic journalism, supported by a genuine heart is one her many wholesome qualities.
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