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Taco John
03-31-2009, 12:37 PM
All don't without added cost to the taxpayers...

Ford, GM To Cover Car Payments For Unemployed

DETROIT Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. are offering payment protection plans to help reassure consumers who may be putting off buying a new car because of worries about losing their job.

The offers come as auto sales have been battered by the recession and tight credit, reaching their lowest levels in 27 years.

Ford said Tuesday it will cover payments of up to $700 each month for up to a year on any new Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicle if consumers lose their jobs. The program runs until June 1.

Hours later, GM said it will make a similar offer. GM's new CEO, Fritz Henderson, said the company will make up to nine car payments of $500 each for customers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

Customers must qualify for state unemployment to be eligible for the program. The program starts April 1 and runs until April 30.

Hyundai Motor Co. launched a program in January that allows buyers to return a vehicle within a year if they can't make the payments due to a job loss or disability. The company said the program helped it avoid a double-digit sales decline last month, reporting a 2 percent slide.

Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford is also offering zero percent financing on certain Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles.

"Consumers remain anxious about the economy and their own outlook for the future," Ken Czubay, vice president of sales and marketing, said in a statement.

The announcements come a day after President Barack Obama said the government will back new car warranties issued by GM and Chrysler LLC, who have accepted federal assistance and are seeking more, to help boost consumer confidence about buying their vehicles.

Ford has not requested federal bailout funds.

Ford also said it would partner with its dealers to introduce a program that would help local charities affected by the economic downturn.

Shares of Ford fell 6 cents to $2.70 in morning trading, while GM shares dropped 18 cents to $2.52.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/31/ford-car-payments-covered_n_181151.html

Taco John
03-31-2009, 12:38 PM
Walgreens Offering Free Healthcare For Jobless, Uninsured

NEW YORK Drugstore operator Walgreen will offer free clinic visits to the unemployed and uninsured for the rest of the year, providing tests and routine treatment for minor ailments through its walk-in clinics _ though patients will still pay for precriptions.

Walgreen said patients who lose their job and health insurance after March 31 will be able to get free treatment at its in-store Take Care clinics for respiratory problems, allergies, infections and skin conditions, among other ailments. Typically those treatments cost $59 or more for patients with no insurance.

Hal Rosenbluth, chairman of the Take Care Health Systems division, described the plan as something close to an experiment: He said Walgreen isn't sure of patient demand or how much providing the services might cost the company.

It's likely to generate more attention for the clinics, however. Rosenbluth said a typical Take Care patient tells eight other people about his or her experience. So far, about 30 percent of Take Care patients were new customers to Walgreen.

The program is expected to last through the end of 2009. Walgreen runs 341 Take Care clinics in 35 markets around the country, including Chicago, Atlanta, Miami and Cleveland.

Free services will be offered only from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Walgreen said it will not offer free checkups, vaccinations or other injections because it is focusing on providing services patients might otherwise get at an urgent-care center or even an emergency room.

Patients must present proof they are unemployed, including a federal or state unemployment determination letter and an unemployment check stub. They will have to sign a form at the clinic saying they have lost their jobs and health benefits. If they find a new job or get new health insurance, they will no longer be eligible for free care.

Spouses and children are also eligible for free services if they don't have insurance of their own.

Medical lab operator Quest Diagnostics is participating in the program by offering free tests for step throat and urinary tract infections.

Walgreen bought the Take Care clinics in May 2007. Take Care says it has seen about 1.2 million patients since its launch in November 2005 and estimates that up to 30 percent of them were uninsured.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/31/walgreen-free-care-for-jo_n_181178.html

blaise
03-31-2009, 01:42 PM
I'm assuming those payment protection plans offered by Ford and GM are for a fee. Haven't people been able to purchase those coverages for some time now?