1 in 10 North Carolinians have no health insurance, one of the highest rates of uninsured people in the country. Low-income seniors, people living with disabilities, veterans, immigrants, and their families need access to affordable healthcare. Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy fights for this right every day.
The current Medicaid coverage gap in our state means that thousands of individuals have income levels that are too high to qualify for Medicaid but are too low for premium subsidies through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace, leaving them without access to vital health insurance. Medicaid expansion would give 600,000 North Carolinians, nearly 100,000 of which live in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties, an affordable health insurance option.
Why do we support in Medicaid expansion?
Medicaid expansion has antipoverty implications. Millions of Americans are pushed into poverty every year because of out-of-pocket spending on health care. Research has found that Medicaid coverage cuts the likelihood of incurring a burdensome medical expense in half.
Medicaid expansion makes health care services more accessible for everyone. The current coverage gap puts vulnerable populations at an even greater risk, including people living with disabilities, people with complex medical needs, and those living below the poverty line. Expansion would provide the critical coverage these individuals need, resulting in improved quality of care and better health outcomes in the process. In North Carolina, nearly half of the individuals in the coverage gap are people of color. Research has found that racial disparities in health coverage and access to care would be narrowed by Medicaid expansion.
Medicaid expansion strengthens our community. Currently 63% of North Carolinians in the coverage gap are from working families. Expansion would benefit workers, allowing them to live healthier lives and be more productive. With more individuals covered by health insurance, hospitals and doctors will decrease their costs for caring for uninsured individuals, allowing them to reduce health care costs for everyone. In addition, North Carolina stands to gain $1.7 billion in new federal funding with Medicaid expansion. But without expansion, our state will lose billions of dollars each year, all while North Carolina taxpayers continue to fund Medicaid expansion in 39 other states.
How can I get involved?
North Carolina state Senators overwhelmingly passed House Bill 149, creating a path for Medicaid expansion in our state. But now the fight moves to the North Carolina House of Representatives. Over 70% of North Carolinians favor closing the coverage gap. If you believe Medicaid expansion is critical, we urge you to call your legislators to let your voice be heard!