Dominican govt offers maids, other workers health insurance

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SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — The Dominican government says it will provide health insurance to some 50,000 maids and other informal workers in an unprecedented step for the Caribbean country.

Officials said Tuesday that workers including maids, gardeners and housekeepers can sign up to receive benefits for themselves and their dependents starting Saturday.

The government said it had to limit health insurance coverage to 50,000 people for economic reasons even though the Dominican Republic has more than 230,000 maids and another 20,000 informal workers including gardeners and housekeepers.

Officials did not say how much the plan would cost the government.

Previous administrations pledged similar action when health insurance plans were privatized in 2001, but none was taken.

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