Twenty-two House Republican legislators have co-sponsored a bill to increase health coverage for low-income North Carolinians. The NC Health Care for Working Families legislation would:
- Expand Medicaid coverage to more than 540,000 people ages 19 to 64 who make no more than slightly above the federal poverty level (FPL) (about $12,000 a year).
- Require enrollees to pay monthly premiums equal to two percent of their income, exempting those making less than 50 percent of the FPL (about $6,000 a year).
- Require enrollees to either work or participate in job-training programs.
Ninety percent of the cost of the expansion would be paid by the federal government. The other ten percent would be paid through taxes on hospitals and health care providers. About 2 million people in North Carolina already qualify for Medicaid.
Closing the coverage gap for low-income adults is a policy priority of the Think Babies™ NC initiative. Research demonstrates that ensuring adults are healthy before they conceive improves the chances of healthy pregnancies and healthy babies at birth. Research also shows that young children are more likely to go to the doctor when they are sick if their parents have access to health insurance coverage.
Think Babies™ NC seeks to advance policies that support the healthy development of North Carolina’s babies and toddlers. It is aligned with the NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading initiative and the NC Early Childhood Action Plan. Think Babies™ NC is led by the NC Early Education Coalition with support from the NC Early Childhood Foundation and a Leadership Team of state and local organizations focused on advancing public awareness and policy solutions for infants, toddlers, and their families.