By Hailey Gutzmer
The presence of the health insurance coverage gap is hurting every county and our state as a whole. In North Carolina, 13.8% of non-elderly workers are uninsured. The rate of uninsured workers ranges by county, from 5.8% in Gates County to 27.2% in Avery County.
These are hardworking North Carolinians that cannot tend to their health needs because they do not have health insurance. And businesses cannot thrive without a healthy workforce.
The impact that closing the coverage gap could have on the workforce, businesses, and other sectors is clear in Care4Carolina’s newest resource, the Coverage Gap Impact Map. From Dare to Cherokee County, the opportunities and consequences of not providing affordable health insurance coverage for more than 600,000 North Carolinians is available for all 100 North Carolina Counties.
By scrolling across the Coverage Gap Impact Map, you will see the number of people that would gain coverage by closing the gap in each county and the current rate of uninsured workers.
Clicking on a county will pull up the county data sheet with information on:
- The number of new jobs, expected financial business activity gain, and county revenue.
- Impact closing the coverage gap could have on fighting the opioid epidemic.
- Public safety benefits of closing the coverage gap.
Each datasheet also offers new information on how much it would cost for someone in the coverage gap to purchase the lowest-cost bronze-level plan through the private health insurance marketplace. People who fall into the coverage gap cannot qualify for a subsidy in the marketplace, so they would be responsible for the full cost of that plan.
As you explore the Coverage Gap Impact Map, think about what these benefits would look like in your county. What small businesses would have the ability to thrive with those funds from new business activity? Whose life may be saved from an opioid overdose because they can now access the treatment they need?
This map shows that benefits of closing the coverage gap hit close to home for all North Carolinians, no matter what county we call home. Share these meaningful benefits with your network, including your elected officials. Post stats from The Coverage Map with the hashtag #NCImpactMap on social media to be retweeted by @care4carolina.
We all have something to gain here if North Carolina closes the health insurance coverage gap.
Data sources for the Coverage Gap Impact Map include: report from Georgetown University; report from The George Washington University; the healthcare.gov marketplace; and the NCDHHS Opioid Action Plan Data Dashboard.