But hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians are still losing out because N.C. hasn’t expanded Medicaid

Raleigh (Sept. 12, 2017) — Newly released state-level data from the U.S. Census Bureau on the number of people in each state with health insurance coverage show that the number of North Carolinians with health care coverage continues to rise, largely thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

While North Carolina lags behind other states that have expanded Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act has helped reduce the number of people in North Carolina without health insurance. Between 2013 and 2016, the share of people with insurance in North Carolina increased by 5.2 percent thanks primarily to the law.

“We must protect the progress that the Affordable Care Act has made by rejecting further efforts to repeal this law,” said Nicole Dozier, Director of the Health Advocacy Project at the NC Justice Center.

  • North Carolina saw its uninsured population reduced by 0.8 percent from 2015 to 2016.
  • Nearly half of the 1,038,000 remaining uninsured in North Carolina could gain coverage if the General Assembly accepted federal funds to close the Medicaid coverage gap.
  • North Carolina’s uninsured rate is down to 10.4 percent, but that is still well above the national average of 8.6 percent due to the failure to expand Medicaid in the state.

North Carolina has not expanded Medicaid, and hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians are losing out as a result. States that have expanded Medicaid to include more people under the Affordable Care Act together cover a higher share of people with insurance than states that did not expand Medicaid, and that gap is growing. 

“It’s time for North Carolina to expand Medicaid so that our people can get the care they need to go to work, take care of their kids, and be healthy, productive members of their communities,” said Ciara Zachary,Health Advocacy Project Policy Analyst at the NC Justice Center.

For more information, contact Ciara Zachary at ciara@ncjustice.org or (919) 856-2568; or Mel Umbarger, Senior Communication Specialist, atmel@ncjustice.org

The NC Justice Center is a progressive research and advocacy organization whose mission is to eliminate poverty in North Carolina by ensuring that every household in the state has access to the resources, services and fair treatment it needs to achieve economic security.