Advocates worry thousands of Virginians could lose health insurance as pandemic rules come to an end

Hundreds of thousands of people in Virginia may be in danger of losing their health insurance.

When the pandemic struck, Congress responded by passing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, preventing states from terminating Medicaid coverage. As a result, the number of people who have health insurance skyrocketed. Now, the pandemic-era rules are ending, and the federal government is allowing states to unwind coverage and potentially remove people from the Medicaid rolls.

Jovanna La Fosse worries about her family.

“So, I’m trying to build up my life again, and with the new employment that I have, I don’t have enough coverage for my kids,” she explains. “Medicaid is a very good support for myself and my family, and if they take Medicaid from us, it will be bad for my son who has autism and really needs help with that.”

Freddy Mejia at the Commonwealth Institute says unwinding coverage disproportionately harms children and minorities.

“Recent national analysis suggests that children, Latino and Black individuals are particularly vulnerable to being dis-enrolled while remaining eligible,” Mejia says. “In fact, 74% of children who lose coverage nationally are expected to be dis-enrolled despite remaining eligible for coverage.”

He says more than 300,000 people in Virginia are in danger of losing their health insurance as Virginia unwinds Medicaid coverage and dis-enrolls people over the next year.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

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National legal services group achieves B-Corp status

Ampa Holdings LLP has become the largest legal and professional services group to be named a certified B-Corporation.

Organizations with certified B-Corporation status are legally required to consider the impact of business decisions on their people, customers, suppliers, communities and the environment, ensuring a balance between purpose, people and profit.

The group does not provide legal services directly, instead it provides the infrastructure and backing to enable the growth of its brands including Shakespeare Martineau, Lime Solicitors, Marrons, Mayo Wynne Baxter, CSS Assure and Corclaim. It employs more than 1,300 people over 18 hubs across the UK, including London.

Helen Hay, group head of culture and sustainability at Ampa, said: “We’re really proud to have achieved our highest score for how we treat our people, including our approach to pay and reward, our wellbeing initiatives and benefits and embedding professional development support and opportunities across the group of brands.”

In 2022 the group increased racial diversity at an equity stakeholder level by more than 3 per cent, against a target of 2 per cent, supported more than 400 young people through a variety of career development events, and significantly reduced its use of paper.

Sarah Walker-Smith, CEO of Ampa and Shakespeare Martineau, commented: “We believe you can be both purposeful and profitable, so our B-Corporation values ​​are embedded within our commercial growth strategy and fully supported from the top-down. We also take great pride in helping our clients achieve their sustainability goals.”

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1.4 million people in the Netherlands switched health insurers for 2023

A whopping 1.4 million people in the Netherlands switched health insurance companies at the end of 2022 – the highest number recorded since the introduction of the current healthcare system in 2006.

High premiums push customers to swap insurance plans or companies

Last year on Prinsjesdag, the Dutch government announced that the price of health insurance would increase by around 11 euros a month from January. While companies like DSW stayed below the guidelines set out in the government’s budget, some people in the Netherlands have seen their insurance premiums rise even more significantly.

Record-breaking number of people switch to new insurance company

Preliminary figures published by Zorgverzekeraars Netherlandsan umbrella organization representing 11 Dutch health insurance companies, has revealed that in the lead-up to the deadline of December 31, a whopping 1.4 million people in the Netherlands switched insurance companies, amounting to around 8 percent of the population.

This marks a significant increase compared to previous years, when the total was between 6 and 7 percent. In fact, the knowledge center Vetkis reports that the figure for 2022 is likely to rise to between 8.1 and 8.5 percent, as some customers have until the end of January to sign up for a new plan.

According to Zorgverzekeraars Netherlands8 percent already marks the highest proportion of the population to switch insurers since the introduction of the current healthcare system in 2006, setting a new national record.

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Legal Aid Ontario increases investment in Indigenous legal services

“For years, ALS has amass expertise in criminal law and how the law impacts our people, families and communities. Expanding ALS’ services into criminal and child protection will enable us to use our own complementary services to convert and support Indigenous people in Toronto. When needed, it will allow us to represent them from a place of Indigenous knowledge and perspective,” services-sign-new-service-agreement/”ALS legal advocacy director, Christa Big Canoe, said.

LAO said the new service agreement had renewed LAO and ALS’ commitment to delivering legal aid services that are trauma-informed, culturally safe, and culturally relevant to the Indigenous community.

David Field, LAO president and CEO, and Rod Strain, vice president of clinic law services, commented, “LAO is looking forward to the positive impact of this new service agreement, which represents both a stronger partnership between ALS and LAO and a deeper investment in improved justice outcomes for vulnerable Indigenous people.

“This agreement embodies our values ​​of inclusion, accountability, and access to justice, and these values ​​will continue to inform our open dialogue with ALS.”

LAO also provides funding to 72 independent legal clinics and seven student legal services organizations throughout the province.

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Top law firms King & Wood Mallesons and Herbert Smith Freehills look to improve relationships with employees

She agreed it was a “two-way street, and that employers also needed clarity: “Absolutely. A big focus for us has been the people value experience and making sure we are very clear about that…”

Ms Lattey said KWM had been “very supportive over the past little while in making sure we are doing everything for our people”.

“In some of the conversations I have had, they are interested in getting more clarity around what it means to be at KWM.

“There has been a period of trusting people and I think that that is still an incredibly important part of this. But I do think that they’re looking to us: ‘OK, tell me what you’re all about. Tell me what I can expect from you, and be really clear on that.’”

Lawyers could be “incredibly driven people”, Ms Lattey said.

“They want to know where the guard rails are; what does success look like at a place like KWM.”

Mr Pike said HSF had embarked on a global project with staff, with the results to be revealed in late March.

Andrew Pike of law firm Herbert Smith Freehills: “To get clarity on both sides is important.” Louie Douvis

“The essence of it is, what does HSF at its best look like, and how can we all play our part in that,” said Mr. Pike.

“All 27 of our offices are part of it. I think, really, one of the real benefits of being part of a global firm, is that we all learn from the diverse perspectives in different regions.

He also said clarity on both sides – employee and employer – was needed.

“I think that’s a dialogue that everybody welcomes – to get clarity on both sides is important,” he said.

Mr Pike cited the training

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Legal aid organizes clinic for Kitchener encampment residents facing eviction

Legal representation is being offered for encampment residents as the Region of Waterloo turns to the courts to evict people living at the Victoria and Weber Streets property.

The first court date is set for July 20.

The Waterloo Region Community Legal is offering its services pro bono.

The team visited the encampment on Thursday to meet and greet with encampment residents and begin the legal clinic process.

The Region of Waterloo is relying on the courts to determine for the next steps in the eviction process after the eviction deadline set for June 30 passed without action.

“There are people here who don’t trust people in positions of authority, so one of the jobs we have to do is to talk to people and to build some trust with them to make them understand that we are here to make their voices heard ,” said Shannon Down, a lawyer with Waterloo Region Community Legal Services.

Residents at the camp say the legal aid clinic is a relief for those pondering their next steps.

Down said this is a big job with some major barriers for their small clinic.

“We can’t just pick up the phone to call our clients or email them, the people here for the most part don’t have access to technology or communications equipment,” said Down.

“The efforts of the legal aid crew is appreciated, and I don’t think any of us would know where to start an injunction or a hearing or get before a judge,” said Michael Wosik, who lives at the site, a resident of the encampment.

“The region filed an application with the courts Tuesday, seeking a judge’s approval to remove residents and their belongings from the site.

As part of the judge’s orders, legal aid was notified and has taken up

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