Evers signs bill ensuring continued healthcare coverage for families of fallen first responders

Gov. Tony Evers has signed a bill that ensures continued healthcare coverage to the immediate family members of state and local law enforcement officers, firefighters, and EMS first responders who perish in the line of duty.

Senate Bill 266, now 2019 Wisconsin Act 19, expands the provision for firefighters to specify that health insurance premiums must also continue to be paid for the surviving spouse and dependent children of a law enforcement officer who dies in the line of duty.

A law enforcement officer who is covered by the provision includes an officer in a local police department, a county jailer, and a Marquette University police officer.

The bill specifies that a city, village, town, or county, and Marquette University, will be
reimbursed annually from the police and fire protection fund for the health insurance premium payments made under this provision on behalf of a firefighter or law enforcement officer.

It also requires a city, village, town, or county, and Marquette University, to maintain confidentiality for personally identifiable information of a surviving spouse or dependent children for whom the premium payments are made.