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Ex-clerk will pay own insurance

October 27, 2010 - If former Oxford Village Clerk Dan Luick wants to continue having health insurance, he's going to have to pay for it without any financial help from the municipality.

During Tuesday's council meeting, no motions of support were offered or approved regarding village President Teri Stiles' suggestion that the municipality possibly pay part or all of Luick's health insurance even though he was fired Oct. 12 due to performance issues.

"This thought came to me in light of former Clerk Luick's revelation of his need (for) a kidney transplant," she said.

Shortly before council voted to fire him, Luick publicly announced he is in need of a kidney transplant. He admitted his health issues have impacted his work.

As is his right under the federal COBRA law, Luick has opted to continue receiving health insurance through the village group policy, however, he must pay $535.87 per month for it out of his own pocket. He's eligible for this coverage for up to 18 months. If Luick fails to reimburse the village on a monthly basis, his coverage can be cancelled under the law.

Councilwoman Maureen Helmuth was not in favor of the village paying any of Luick's monthly premiums.

"I don't think the village has ever extended health care coverage to an employee that they released and I don't feel that we should now," she said.

Even though Luick publicly stated "I am waiting for a kidney transplant" at the Oct. 12 meeting and noted in open session that he has only "20 percent function in my kidneys," Councilman Dave Bailey indicated he was unclear as to the ex-clerk's condition.

"The information that was supplied to the council, in my opinion, was very vague," he said. "I do not recall whether it was made clear that the clerk was a candidate for a kidney transplant, whether the clerk hoped that he would be a candidate for a kidney transplant, whether he merely told us that he had kidney issues. I just don't recall and I haven't seen a note from a doctor."

Despite that, Bailey noted he was "willing to consider the village providing some assistance to Mr. Luick."

"The kidney issue, to me, is very foggy, but the COBRA issue, to me, is pretty clear cut," Bailey said.

Helmuth reiterated her opposition. "I'm not interested in supplementing it," she said.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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