Beaumont Health waives co-pays on some visits for unpaid federal workers during shutdown

Shawn D. Lewis
The Detroit News
John Fox, president and CEO of Beaumont Health

Unpaid federal workers in Michigan are getting a break on emergency and urgent care co-pays and deductibles from Beaumont Health.

Going back to the beginning of the partial government shutdown on Dec. 22, the health system will waive those co-pays and deductibles for unpaid federal workers or for those who have been furloughed. This includes family members of the federal workers affected in the state. 

“Our mission to provide compassionate, extraordinary care every day leads us to try to take steps to help our patients and families during times of need and unique circumstances over which they have no control,” Beaumont Health CEO John Fox said in a statement. “We hope this will provide some peace of mind to those who are facing hard choices until government jobs reopen and pay is restored.”

Michigan is home to about 53,000 federal workers, including Postal Service workers as of June 2017, according to Governing Magazine. That includes an estimated 5,000 civilians and 1,000 Coast Guard employees going unpaid during the shutdown.

Federal employees who received emergency or urgent care beginning at midnight Dec. 22 can get their bills adjusted by calling Beaumont at (248) 577-9443.

The shutdown, which entered its 31st day Tuesday, is the longest in history, forcing many American families to make tough decisions. It’s especially hard for workers who don’t have enough savings to cover their mortgages and other bills.

Roughly 420,000 federal employees were deemed essential and are working unpaid. An additional 380,000 are staying home without pay. While furloughed federal workers have been given back pay in previous shutdowns, it’s not guaranteed that will happen this time. Government contractors, who have been placed indefinitely on unpaid leave, don’t get compensated for lost hours.

Most of the government workers received their last paycheck more than three weeks ago.

Negotiations between President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats have stalled over funding for his long-promised border wall.

The impasse has shuttered nine federal departments, roughly a fourth of the government, affecting roughly 5,200 civilian federal employees in Michigan who are furloughed or working without pay. 

Associated Press contributed.