NEW YORK, April 16, 2003— Responding to the needs of
thousands of families, some of whom may lose their health coverage,
the American Red Cross September 11 Recovery Program announced today
it will pay health insurance premiums for those who lost immediate
family members and those who were seriously physically injured as a
result of the September 11 attacks.
The new American Red Cross Health Insurance Subsidy Program funds
out-of-pocket health insurance premiums for one year.
“This is a particularly critical time since, for many of the
seriously injured, the first 18 months of continuation coverage
through COBRA ends this month,” said Alan Goodman, Administrator of
the September 11 Recovery Program. “This initiative enables us to
help those who need it right now as well as those who may need
assistance with health insurance between now and 2004.”
The program benefits those who received or who were eligible to
receive coverage from their original employer through COBRA
(Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) as well as those
who were never extended health insurance from their original
employer. Individuals who have received payments from employers to
cover these costs are not eligible to receive this subsidy.
As part of the Health Insurance Subsidy Program, Working Today is
receiving funding to make payments directly to clients' insurance
companies. Based in Brooklyn, Working Today is a non-profit service
and advocacy organization, which offers "portable" benefits to
individuals irrespective of location, provider or employment status.
This initiative is Working Today’s third project providing health
insurance to those affected by the September 11 attacks. To learn
more about Working Today visit the website: http://www.workingtoday.org/.
The Red Cross worked closely with The September 11th Fund to plan
and support this initiative. It is modeled after the Fund’s subsidy
program for the economically impacted.
As part of its ongoing assistance to help meet the long-term
recovery needs of those affected, the Red Cross September 11
Recovery Program is helping thousands of individuals and families
access a wide range of services. Red Cross provides personal,
one-on-one assistance to clients, offering support and guidance.
Individuals can access Red Cross benefits such as mental health
and health care services, financial assistance as well as air
purifiers and HEPA vacuums for downtown residents. Red Cross is
assisting downtown residents whose homes are being cleaned by the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Services provided include
relocation, storage, and replacement of damaged home furnishings.
Those with unmet needs will continue to receive support for the
duration of the Red Cross recovery effort as they work to transition
back to self-sufficiency.
Developed with input from those directly affected by the tragedy
and other service agencies, the September 11 Recovery Program
operates within the objectives of the Liberty Disaster Relief Fund
Distribution Plan, the Red Cross fund dedicated to helping those
directly affected by the September 11 tragedies. Full details of the
Liberty Disaster Relief Fund Distribution Plan, previous quarterly
reports and expenditure breakdowns, are available on the Red Cross
website at http://www.redcross.org/September11/help.
For more information about American Red Cross Health Insurance
Subsidy Program or support related to the September 11 attacks
contact the Red Cross at (877) 746-4987 or visit the web
site. To access the Mental Health Program, call 1-800-LIFE
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