After her husband's death in 2002, 90-year-old widow Ada Courtright continued to pay health insurance premiums to the school district where she had worked for twenty years. She wasn't aware that she was paying an extra $8,000 to insure her dead husband.
For its part, the school district says it was never informed of Mr. Courtright's passing, and is not obliged to return the money.
District officials feel badly about the situation but add that rules required Courtright's family to notify the district of the death. Until then, Mr. Courtright was still legally insured.Doing "what is best" apparently includes picking the pockets of elderly widows.
"This is an unfortunate no-win situation," says Judith Christiansen, director of human resources and labor relations for the district. "I don't want to make it sound like we're a big business, but we have a thousand people insured under this plan, and we had to do what is best for those people." [Link]