Iowa widow hopes to get family’s health insurance extended
ROCKWELL CITY, Iowa (AP) — The wife of an Iowa police officer killed during a 2013 standoff is calling for changes to local and state laws to ensure children can continue receiving health insurance after a parent dies.
Amanda Buenting recently discovered that the insurance provided by the city to her husband, Jamie Buenting, will no longer cover her family, The Messenger reported .
“I am asking as a community to band together, stand up for what’s right,” she said. “Stand up for this community, for the state, and for the men and women in blue who have given their lives in the line of duty.”
Jamie Buenting died from a gunshot wound while serving as an officer with the Rockwell City Police Department. He worked at the police department for eight years and had been in law enforcement since 1999.
The Buentings have two children, 11-year-old Kalie and 13-year-old Ethan. Kalie was diagnosed with diabetes at age 2 and more recently was diagnosed with a secondary autoimmune disorder, Amanda Buenting said.
“That requires chemo lifelong to keep her body from attacking itself, so we are looking at something that is quite pricey without insurance,” she said.
The city had passed a resolution in 2014 that would provide coverage for the dependents of a city worker killed on duty for five years. However, the city recently found out that Blue Cross/Blue Shield doesn’t extend coverage past three years, Mayor Phil Heinlen said.
Amanda Buenting said she plans to take the issue to the state to get coverage until her children are age 26. She said other states have changed laws to allow for coverage to continue until that age.
“I am a working mom with two kids of Jamie’s at home and I am here to give them everything they need,” she said. “I shouldn’t have to worry about bills piling up with Kalie’s medical.”