NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

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Sen. Myron Dorn

Sen. Myron Dorn

District 30

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Resources for COVID-19
March 18th, 2020

From the office of Senator Myron Dorn, District 30

COVID-19 has forced our nation, our state and local communities to take  unprecedented measures; closures, restrictions and quarantines are becoming more common each day. I have received a few emails encouraging the state to do more in the way of helping employees who are on limited income and will be impacted by these measures. I wanted to post some information for those who may be facing financial hardship during this unprecedented shutdown.  It is not an exhaustive list but I hope it may offer some guidance.

If you are facing financial hardship, I would encourage you to contact any entity with which you have financial concerns.  If it is regarding your mortgage, energy provider, loans, etc. contact your lender and see what options they have available.  I have received information from Black Hills Energy and NPPD that they offer various assistance options such as payment arrangements and budget billing.  

The Nebraska Department of Labor is waiving the required work search requirement and the one week wait period for unemployment benefits for those who are unable to report to work due to closure or illness. The employer fee charge for the short-term benefits is also waived. More information can be accessed on the Department of Labor’s website at: www.dol.nebraska.gov 

Medicaid

Those in the Medicaid program who use one of the three managed health care MCO’s: regarding COVID-19 testing, UnitedHealthCare, Nebraska Total Care, and WellCare have all agreed to waive cost-sharing or co-payment for both the COVID-19 test and the provider visit in which the COVID-19 test is administered for their insured populations here in NebraskaCare. These providers will waive early refill restrictions for most medications for the duration of the emergency, with the only exception being narcotics and specialty drugs.   

Education

Schools across the state are transitioning from classes in the school house to e-learning. This presents challenges to many families. Every school should be providing their students and parents with information.  In addition to the particulars of each school district, here is information from the Nebraska Department of Education: www.education.ne.gov 

“Local school districts have been preparing for potential closures for weeks and many have already implemented closures to address recent presumed positive or confirmed cases of COVID-19. The NDE advises districts to continue student learning using available resources. The NDE Office of Teaching, Learning, and Assessment has compiled virtual educational resources that are available on the e-Learning Days web page, and will continue to add resources as they become available.

Nutrition

The NDE knows food insecurity for students who rely on school meals is a major concern when extended school closures become necessary. The NDE was granted approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for alternate meal service flexibility in the case of extended closures. This allows schools to serve students meals through USDA-approved meal service options, at approved sites within the community. All schools with a student population of more than 50 percent free and reduced priced lunch have the opportunity to provide meals through the Summer Food Service Program whether or not they have participated in the program. Those schools will first need to complete an application and questionnaire. Once approved, schools will be able to provide these meals to any student, regardless of their enrollment. Schools with a student population of less than 50 percent free and reduced priced lunch can provide meals to low-income students in their school on a limited basis through an application. For more information or to apply, visit the Nutrition Services page at: https://www.education.ne.gov/ns/.”

Health Information 

If you have any questions about COVID-19, please visit the University of Nebraska Medical Center/Nebraska Medicine at: https://www.nebraskamed.com/COVID

Again, this is only a partial list of places a person may go to seek information or assistance.  If you would like to have more information regarding the health aspects of COVID-19, I would recommend the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services website: www.dhhs.ne.gov 

Please continue to follow the recommended guidelines as we all work together to contain the virus and return to our normal schedules as quickly as possible. 

 

Sen. Myron Dorn

District 30
Room #11th Floor
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2620
Email: mdorn@leg.ne.gov
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