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Worrisome

COVID-19 causing health care insurance issues

Health care insurance is always a concern for most of us. COVID-19 has made it a real and present worry for many.

Here in West Virginia, many business owners take real pleasure in being able to provide employees with good health insurance. Keeping the share of premiums paid by workers themselves as low as possible is a priority, with businesses covering as much as they can.

That has become very difficult for many businesses during the COVID-19 epidemic. Their revenues are down, sometimes drastically. It has been tough for many to hold on.

On Monday, Gov. Jim Justice announced another round of funding through the state to help such businesses. The $42 million installment brings to more than $140 million the total provided to businesses and consumers to safeguard health insurance for tens of thousands of West Virginians.

Help for both struggling businesses and worried families is just what the doctor ordered to help West Virginians weather the worst financial storm many have encountered.

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“Catfishing” — the criminal practice of scam romances, often cultivated online, has grown during the COVID-19 epidemic. Once the scum practicing it have hooked a victim solidly, they begin taking money from him or her.

One West Virginian lost her life savings to a catfishing scheme, it has been reported. At last report she was homeless.

Romance scammers stole an estimated $201 million from Americans last year. It is expected the amount will be higher this year, again, partly because COVID-19-related isolation has increased the pool of potential victims.

Don’t fall for it. For starters, don’t give money to anyone you have never met, regardless of how persuasive they may be.

One good safeguard is friends and relatives. If they express suspicion about someone new you have met, online, on the phone or even in person, listen to them.

Catfishing is, in a word, evil. Be smart and don’t get on the hook.

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