(BRANDON HANSEN/Chewelah Independent)
Sheriff’s candidate Brad Manke said family had to get new health insurance plan…
Stevens County Sheriffs candidate and Chief Deputy Brad Manke said that his health insurance provided by Welfare Trust was terminated and suggested the move was politically motivated.
Manke, who is running against former deputy Mike Berry, said that he has been a member of the Teamsters Union for 21 years and that the same union health coverage applied to his family the entire time. When a promotion to chief deputy came up a year ago, Manke said he considered not taking it since appointed positions within the Sheriff’s Office are not usually offered the same union benefits as deputies.
“This has created an extreme problem for finding people willing to take promotions,” Manke said. “I was literally going to have to turn down the promotion because it would not be financially feasible to lose such great insurance. Especially when I have a family member with a disease.”
Manke had revealed in a prior post that his wife has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
“Fortunately, the commissioners, the sheriff, the teamsters business office and the Teamsters Welfare Trust (Insurance) got together and came to an agreement that I could keep my current insurance. This was agreed to because it was not going to cost anyone any more money. None. It had no financial bearing on anyone involved except my family if I were to lose it.”
Manke said that in August of 2018, he got a abrupt phone call from the Welfare Trust saying they were terminating his benefits. After inquiring with the insurance business office, he was told there had been an inquiry as to why he still had Trust Insurance.
As said before, appointed administration jobs within the office do not have the same benefits as deputies covered by the Teamster union.
“So, I immediately called the Business Office,” Manke said. “The same Business Office who has chosen to endorse my opponent without the support or even consulting with their membership. This caused quite a stir within the department and apologies and retractions were issued.”
The business office said there had been an inquiry into why Manke still had Trust Insurance, and they decided that he no longer was eligible for the insurance.
“They told me it was a mistake in the first place,” Manke said. “A ‘mistake’ that was agreed to by four different entities, was in writing, and cost nobody anything. The business office was at least honest enough to admit that the ‘inquiry’ was certainly politically motivated.”
Manke said in a statement on Facebook that this was more than retaliation but a personal and financial attack on him and his family’s well-being by a spiteful individual.
“Who the individual is remains a mystery to me, but was certainly someone against my campaign,” Manke said.
Manke added that the family now has a lesser coverage plan, a loss of vision and dental coverage, high co-pays, higher deductibles and $7,500 out of pocket more every year – saying this is because of a politically motivated phone call.