By Jacqueline Pitts, The Bottom Line
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced Wednesday that barriers are being removed for those losing their jobs to access government assistance, including Medicaid, food assistance, and others.
Similar to what is being done with unemployment insurance benefits in the state, changes are being made to ensure those losing their jobs due to the coronavirus can get government-provided health coverage immediately.
Beshear added that recipients receiving other government benefits through the Department of Community Based Services would see a three-month extension of their benefits without having to reapply.
The administration encouraged individuals to work to get insurance coverage first upon losing work. They also noted efforts are being ramped up to ensure all unemployment benefits and other claims are addressed. Learn more here.
As for other changes announced on Wednesday, the governor said hours and lobby access at Kentucky’s banks would need to change in the coming days, and charitable gaming licenses will be suspended immediately to avoid gatherings like bingo.
Beshear gave a stern speech to businesses and individuals across the state who think about not following guidelines. He stated while these restrictions are difficult for all Kentuckians, it is what we all have to do to keep our state safe and have the smallest impact.
Dr. Steven Stack said he has been astounded about the number of questions the administration is receiving about whether or not the measures apply to them and pointed to the example of South Korea being able to contain the virus until one individual decided to not heed the guidelines and spread the virus to many.
The governor said there are six new cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky, three of which are in new counties — Franklin, Warren and Kenton. He emphasized this is no need to panic as the state has been expecting this and are following all the right steps to contain further spread.
Find a full list of other measures being taken at the state level here. And continue to follow The Bottom Line for all coronavirus updates.