The Affordable Care Act (ACA) prevents insurance companies from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions or offering them plans that don’t cover care for those conditions. This protects 164,300 North Carolina children right now. Starting in 2014 insurers will no longer be able to deny adults coverage or charge them higher premiums because of pre-existing conditions. In North Carolina, this will protect nearly one in three adults (almost 1.7 million people).
Currently, North Carolina’s most popular health insurance plans charge a 40-year-old, non-smoking woman more than a 40-year-old, non-smoking man for the same health insurance coverage. Beginning in 2014, the ACA will make it illegal to charge people more based on gender or health status.
The ACA provides North Carolina’s 1.5 million seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare with access to free preventive services, such as mammograms and colonoscopies. Repeal of the ACA would mean Medicare would again start charging co-pays and deductibles for these services.
Currently, 93,100 small businesses in our state with fewer than 25 employees and average wages of less than $50,000 qualify for tax credits under the ACA to help with the cost of coverage for their workers.
Starting in 2014, the ACA will limit what families have to spend on co-pays and deductibles out of their own pockets each year. In addition, insurers will no longer be able to put yearly or lifetime limits on how much they will pay for health care.
Questions for Candidates
- Do you support the Affordable Care Act? If not, how do you propose to provide access to health care for the hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians who currently have no coverage, but who would be covered under the Act?
- Many believe the individual mandate requiring people to have insurance is fundamental to the other provisions in the Affordable Care Act. Do you support or oppose the individual mandate?
- Right now, 115,500 young adults in North Carolina can stay on their parents’ health plans up to age 26 because of the Affordable Care Act. Do you support or oppose this provision?
- The General Assembly is considering legislation to create a state-run health benefits exchange where small businesses and uninsured individuals could purchase insurance. Do you support the creation of a state-run health benefits exchange?
- Do you believe that small businesses and uninsured individuals should have strong representation on the state health benefits exchange?