For America’s uninsured, COVID-19 will present extra challenges
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There are nearly 30 million Americans without health insurance. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Trump administration is considering using a national disaster program to help them pay for COVID-19 treatment.
The CDC doesn’t charge for its coronavirus tests, but getting that test requires a doctor’s visit or maybe an emergency room stay. Without insurance, the bill could be thousands of dollars.
“For people who are uninsured, knowing that they may face thousands of dollars worth of medical costs can be a deterrent to getting care,” said Jennifer Tolbert, director of state health reform with the Kaiser Family Foundation.
And if people who have symptoms avoid getting tests because it’s too expensive, experts say that could make it harder to contain the disease — especially because of who tends to be uninsured. Sabrina Corlette, the co-director of Georgetown’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms, said that tends to be people who take care of children and the elderly, clean hotels and serve food.
And those are exactly the people that Corlette says should be a priority for testing.
COVID-19 Economy FAQs
What’s the latest on the extra COVID-19 unemployment benefits?
As of now, those $600-a-week payments will stop at the end of July. For many, unemployment payments have been a lifeline, but one that is about to end, if nothing changes. The debate over whether or not to extend these benefits continues among lawmakers.
With a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases, are restaurants and bars shutting back down?
The latest jobs report shows that 4.8 million Americans went back to work in June. More than 30% of those job gains were from bars and restaurants. But those industries are in trouble again. For example, because of the steep rise in COVID-19 cases in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, increased restrictions on restaurant capacities and closed bars. It’s created a logistical nightmare.
Which businesses got Paycheck Protection Program loans?
The numbers are in — well, at least in part. The federal government has released the names of companies that received loans of $150,000 or more through the Paycheck Protection Program.
Some of the companies people are surprised got loans include Kanye West’s fashion line, Yeezy, TGI Fridays and P.F. Chang’s. The companies you might not recognize, particularly some smaller businesses, were able to hire back staff or partially reopen thanks to the loans.
You can find answers to more questions on unemployment benefits and COVID-19 here.
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