Employer-sponsored coverage is becoming more common, but only slightly
More businesses in North Carolina have begun to offer their employees health insurance coverage, but this has only increased by a slight degree since 2010. In North Carolina, nearly half of all consumers below the age of 65 currently receive employer-sponsored insurance coverage. Since 2010, this has risen by less than 1%, while other states have seen a greater increase in employer-sponsored health insurance coverage. A new report from the Department of Health and Human Services has highlighted this issue.
Number of uninsured people in North Carolina is falling
According to the report, approximately 13% of consumers throughout the state did not have health insurance coverage of any kind in 2014. This is a 4% decrease from what the uninsured population had been in 2010. While more consumers are finding access to insurance coverage, relatively few are finding this coverage through their employers. Some employers are not offering coverage to many of their workers because these employees have opted to find coverage through the state’s exchange, or receive coverage from the state’s Medicaid program.
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Growing insurance premiums may make it difficult for consumers to obtain coverage
All consumers are required to have some form of health insurance coverage active or face tax penalties from the federal government. For those without employer-sponsored coverage, this could become a financial burden, especially in North Carolina. The North Carolina Department of Insurance recently approved major rate hikes for insurers offering coverage in the individual market. As a result, consumers will be spending more money on their insurance policies, even if they seek coverage through the state’s exchange.
Some employers believe that insurance coverage is becoming a very costly problem
Encouraging employers to offer insurance coverage to their workers has been a difficult process. Employers have cited high costs as the reason they have shied away from offering coverage, and resolving these concerns could be a time consuming process. Consumers can find a wide range of coverage through insurance exchanges, many of which may actually be less expensive than coverage provided by employers.