Health insurance options limited for thousands of North Carolina residents
A new bill in the state would leave many without choices when shopping for their medical coverage.
Thousands of residents of North Carolina within the lower income brackets are being denied health insurance and, as a result of a measure that passed the House this week, they now have very limited coverage options available to them.
This bill was drafted by the Republicans in the state with the purpose of helping to control costs.
It is currently estimated that there are approximately 1.5 million people in North Carolina who do not have health insurance. Though the federal healthcare reforms have been designed to begin providing coverage to a wider range of people, including anyone who is earning less than 138 percent of the poverty line, as defined by the federal government. For a family of five people, this represents approximately $38,000.
The governor and the Republican lawmakers are worried about the expense associated with that health insurance expansion.
The Republicans in the state, as well as Governor Pat McCrory, have expressed their concern over the possible extreme cost that could be faced by the state as a result of having to provide coverage to such a large number of people. For this reason, they are acting quickly to stop the expansion of this portion of the health insurance system overhaul.
According to North Carolina Justice Center health policy expert, Adam Searing, those who could suffer the most from the passing of this bill are the residents with the lowest incomes, but who do not qualify for Medicaid. Searing’s organization opposes the legislation and is an advocate for the poor in the state.
He explained that “They will continue to get expensive care in emergency rooms or limited care in overextended community health clinics.” Searing also stated that “They will get half the care a person with insurance receives and get sicker and die earlier than those insured.”
The law also includes the element that will require the state’s health insurance exchange to begin its open enrollment as of October, so that residents will be prepared with their coverage as of the start of next year when the individual mandate becomes effective.