The United States Department of Labor has announced continued funding for jobless residents of North Carolina who require financial assistance in affording health insurance. The funding will work to supplement an initial $2 million awarded to the state in August of 2009 and $2.2 million in June 2010.
The previous funds have helped about 4,200 people obtain health insurance by partially paying premium payments for coverage. The state qualified for the continued grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which provides temporary relief for citizens impacted by the recent economic recession.
The renewed award, a $2 million payment offered under the National Emergency Grant fund, brings the total award received to date to $6.2 million and the total number of jobless workers to 5,375; assisting an additional 1,175 unemployed workers. The funding will be received by unemployed persons who are already receiving benefits from Trade Adjustment Assistance and are eligible for the Health Coverage Tax Credit. The partial premium payments will cover up to three months and pay 72.5 percent of insurance premium costs. The federal funds will be received by the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Division of Employment and Training which will then distribute it to qualified residents. Commenting on the award, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis stated, “Health insurance is an important benefit for millions of American workers and their families. These additional funds will ensure that these North Carolinians keep their health insurance while they search for new jobs.”