PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - Governor Carcieri signed legislation Thursday morning that would
allow some unemployed workers to collect discounted benefits
insurance program, even if they had previously opted out.
Workers from companies that have closed or have fewer than 20
workers and who have lost their jobs on or after Sept. 1, 2008 are
now eligible for Rhode Island Extended Benefits, otherwise known as
Under the legislation, stimulus money from the American Recovery
& Reinvestment Act will be used to help pay 65 percent of
health insurance premiums for eligible laid-off workers.
Cariceri said the law would make good use of federal stimulus
money by helping the state meet the needs of Rhode Islanders.
"This is about giving hundreds of Rhode Islanders the tools they
need to ensure their health and well-being and reduce expenses
during these hard economic times," said Carcieri during a news
conference at the State House.
Those who want to collect benefits through the program have
until May 1 to enroll and must contact their health insurance
provider. They can also visit the
Office of the
Health Commissioner website for more information.