News Releases

Murray Applauds Health Care Premium Assistance for Unemployed Washington State Workers

Mar 19 2010

Emergency funding will help 1,500 jobless workers in Washington state keep their health insurance

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) applauded the announcement by the U.S Department of Labor that Washington state has been awarded a National Emergency Grant of $4,847,959 to provide an estimated 1,500 of the state’s jobless workers with partial premium payments for health insurance coverage.  

“At a time when so many families are struggling just to pay the bills, this emergency grant will help Washington state workers hold on to their family’s health insurance while they continue to look for a job,” said Senator Patty Murray. “I am very glad that these funds were released, and I am going to continue fighting to ensure that Washington state families who lost their job get the support they need to get back on their feet and back in the workforce.”

This grant will be used to make “gap filler” payments for unemployed individuals who are receiving Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits and are eligible for the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) program.  Under HCTC, eligible individuals can receive 80 percent of premium costs for qualified health insurance programs.  These payments cover the gap period, or the time it takes to complete Internal Revenue Service enrollment, processing and first payments under the HCTC program.  The state of Washington will provide up to three months of gap filler payments for the participants.

The funds will be distributed by the Washington State Employment Security Department.