More Miners Set to Lose Health Benefits

CHARLESTON– Today more coal miners received letters saying their earned health care benefits will be cut off in 60 days.

22,600 retired miners and widows received the letters. This is the third such letter that has gone out to retired miners and widows in the last five months. The first two went out in October and November of last year. Congress passed a four month extension, but have yet to pass a permanent solution. Those benefits will run out on April 30, which triggered this new letter.

UMWA International President Cecil Roberts released a statement saying, “Congress cannot keep kicking this can down the road. This is causing tremendous mental and in some cases physical trauma to these senior citizens. They will now have to begin contemplating whether to continue to get medicines and treatments they need to live or to buy groceries. They will now have to wonder if they can go see a doctor for chronic conditions like black lung or cancer or pay the mortgage.

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com