West Virginia and Ohio Governors Earl Ray Tomblin and John Kasich announced this week that West Virginia and Ohio, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor, have developed a collaborative agreement to provide assistance with health insurance premium payments to dislocated RG Steel workers in Ohio.
On November 29, the Department of Labor awarded WorkForce West Virginia a $1.2 million National Emergency Grant (NEG) Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) Gap Filler Grant to assist 500 dislocated Ohio RG Steel workers with health insurance premium payments.
“With workers in both West Virginia and Ohio being affected by recent layoffs at RG Steel, I know we have families in both states struggling to make ends meet,” Gov. Tomblin said. “I’m truly grateful we have programs available to help our families afford their insurance premiums. And I’m honored West Virginia has this opportunity to help our neighbors, the State of Ohio, in assisting displaced workers there.”
“Working together, our two states can provide this needed help to RG Steel families as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said Gov. Kasich. “It’s just commonsense and I applaud Governor Tomblin and his administration for working with our team to get this moving.”
The NEG HCTC Program provides funding for 72.5 percent of individuals’ monthly health insurance premium payments during the three month IRS-HCTC application approval process, thereby eliminating any gap or lapse in insurance coverage.
WorkForce West Virginia previously has received NEG grants and HCTC Gap Filler funds to assist dislocated West Virginia RG Steel workers with health insurance premium payments and has a history of administering NEG HCTC funds. For these reasons, it is in the best interest of the dislocated Ohio workers to have West Virginia administer the program.
WorkForce West Virginia is notifying RG Steel workers in West Virginia and Ohio who are eligible for these benefits. Individuals in either state can contact WorkForce West Virginia at 1-877-967-5498 for additional information.