Kershaw County Councilman Willie Mickle resigned from Kershaw County Council on Monday, citing insurance needs as the basis for his decision. Mickle represented District 1.
In a letter to Kershaw County Councilman Julian Burns, Mickle said “much prayer and thought” went into making the decision.
“Unfortunately, the realities of the rules that govern Medicare and Medicare Part B have forced me to make this decision,” Mickle wrote. “Though my health and the health of my wife is currently good, we cannot be assured of that forever. The insurance that The State PEBA would require me to use does not provide the same level of mental comfort that Medicare does, so I must make this decision.”
PEBA is the S.C. Public Employee Benefit Authority program. According to a fact sheet provided by the Kershaw County Government Center, return-to-work retirees in a full-time position or those who average 30 hours per week in a part-time or variable position or eligible for active benefits under the Affordable Care Act. Employees covered by the State Health Plan as a retiree may choose to enroll as an active employee or keep their retiree coverage -- as long as they or their covered dependent are not eligible for Medicare.
“If you or any of your covered dependents are eligible for Medicare, you cannot be covered as a retiree with PEBA when you become eligible for benefits as the employee of a PEBA-covered employer,” according to the fact sheet.
Mickle said he has “greatly enjoyed” working for Kershaw County citizens and will “always be humbled” by their trust in electing him.
“I will always wish the best for this county and its citizens, and will seek other ways to serve them in the future,” Mickle said.
In a press release issued Monday afternoon, Burns said he wished to publicly thank Mickle for his “many years of dedicated service” to the county, as both an employee of the Kershaw County School District and elected official.
“He has served this county well, and was an especially strong and respected voice for youth, known for his support of education, recreation and athletics,” Burns said. “This county is a better place for his service, and we look forward to his future contributions as he continues to work to make this county a great place to live, work and play.”
Kershaw County Voter Registration Director John Caughman said his office is working on plans for a special election, likely to be held sometime next spring.