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Wife of Officer Jay Marles Feels His Children Deserve Health Insurance

Memorial for Officer Jay Marles
Memorial for Officer Jay Marles (photo Courtesy Facebook)

The death of Ocean Gate Policeman Jason Marles is still difficult for family and loved ones to endure, however the former wife of Officer Marles continues her fight with the Ocean Gate Police Department over insurance she claims was never provided for Jason Marles two kids.

Virginia Smalls Marles, who is the mother of Jason Marles seven year old daughter Taryn and five year old son Landon, has been struggling for years to have her late husband’s health insurance coverage for the children.

Smalls-Marles says that Ocean Gate Police Chief Reece Fisher told her that they would work to get the children taken care of, and while a college fund with the PBA has been set up in their name, all requests to have the children be insured under their fathers plan have been rejected.

 

For the mother of two, news that her children were uninsured came five days after the death of their father.

“I only found out because my kids got really sick and I had to take them to the doctor to get medicine and the pharmacy actually told me the coverage was gone.”

GETTING THE RUNAROUND

Virginia Smalls Marles continually tried to keep in touch with the Ocean Gate Police Department, but while paperwork was being submitted, she claims to have been getting the run around from all parties.

“Every time I went to the police department it was back and forth. “Yeah yeah we’re waiting on this, we’re waiting on that.” Eventually they said I had to get it through pension. I called pension and they said you have to get it through Ocean Gate and they’re going to tell you to get it through us, but we’re going to tell you they’re wrong and you need to get it through them.”

ON OR OFF DUTY?

The main problem Smalls Marles kept running into was that since Officer Marles was killed after his shift, coming home on the parkway, he wasn’t considered “on duty”. However Smalls-Marles feels that Ocean Gate’s procedures didn’t do an accurate enough job describing what is considered “on” or “off” duty.

“They never had a manual and they never had set guidelines as to what time you clock into work what time you clock out because they didn’t have a time clock. Jay went to work logged in signed on with the dispatcher and started his day.”

One of the other criticisms that Sims Marles heard was that issues with her and Jason’s marriage were a factor, however she says that their businesses was never made public during Jason’s time on the force because it never affected the status of their children.

“The kids were covered under Jay’s health insurance coverage from the day they were born, then we got married. Things happened, whatever we got divorced and ended up living together again. But through all of this the kids were always covered under Jay’s health insurance.”

She believes that money is the real reason Ocean Gate hasn’t been able to follow through with providing Jason’s children with insurance.

“Because there are small town and they don’t make any money so therefore they don’t want to have to pick up the extra thousand dollars a month or couple hundred dollars a month to take care of my kids. But they didn’t even offer for me to pay it.’

Smalls-Marles says she would gladly pay the monthly cost for the policy if it mean having her children covered on it. Currently with two young children, medical bills are common, and on top of that her son still requires therapy following the death of his father. All costs she bears out of pocket.

“On top of not getting any money or anything else now I have to pay therapy bills every week and every time they have to go to the doctor I have to pay full price for doctor’s visit’s medicine, it’s ridiculous.”

Virginia Smalls-Marles has tried to qualify for some sort of assistance but since she wasn’t given the option for COBRA after her husband’s death, and since she receives to much from disability for other assistance, she is left in a lurch for her children.

“If Jay wasn’t working that night, he wouldn’t be driving home at that time, he wouldn’t have been killed in an accident and I don’t see why that should affect the children’s health coverage. I’m not asking for money every month, keep the kids on the policy, I’ll pay for it.”

She adds that while she has though about hiring legal counsel, at the moment she cannot afford it.

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