Last Minute Checkup

By: Joe Gagnon Email
By: Joe Gagnon Email

With layoffs rising throughout the country, and after big job cuts to Halliburton and businesses like GJ Steel going under, more pink slips are making their way here to the Grand Valley.
Now some people are rushing to the doctor's office before they're health coverage runs out.
Doctors are certainly getting concerned that as more and more people get laid off and lose their health insurance it leaves them with nowhere to turn.
The total number of workers filing for unemployment benefits topped more than $6 million, the twelfth straight weekly record.
Those numbers are starting to hit close to home and the hospital..
As unemployed people are scrambling for health care they may not qualify for any more, local Doctor Avis Severance is now seeing a mad rush for checkups in her office.
It's not the amount of people that struck her, it's the reason why they are there, "They're coming into the doctor's office right before they lose their jobs or health insurance," she says.
According to labor officials, if you were insured through your company, your benefits only last six months after you were laid off.
But you can buy cobra health insurance through the Department of Labor.
Where premiums cost a grand per family, per month.
Doctor Severance worries the cost may stop people from getting insurance and getting proper care.
Even without insurance some may finally find their way to the hospital, but by then, it could be too late.
The Cobra plan will be cheaper until the end of this year.
The big stimulus plan from the Obama Administration will pay two-thirds of the costs if you were laid off between last September and the end of 2009.
To see if you apply for the Cobra plan, click on the link below for the Department of Labor.

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