Recognizing the financial strain that precautions to slow the spread of coronavirus have had on many workplaces, Group Health Cooperative of Eau Claire is cutting health insurance premiums by 50% next month for its members.

The local insurer announced Wednesday morning that the reduction of April's premiums is intended to help the private businesses, local governments and nonprofit organizations that belong to the cooperative.

"We recognize the strain our member groups are under. We want to help them," Peter Farrow, CEO and general manager of Group Health Cooperative, said in a news release. "As a cooperative, our reserves are held for the benefit of our members. In consultation with our board of directors, we decided a temporary premium reduction is an appropriate action at this time."

The Eau Claire city government uses the cooperative for its employees' health insurance. According to Farrow, the city will save just over $600,000 next month from the reduced premiums.

State Commissioner of Insurance, Mark Afable, issued a bulletin on March 20 that encouraged insurance companies to find ways to help Wisconsin residents experiencing economic hardships tied to the coronavirus.