Triad-Based Group Joins VFW in Supporting Action on Behalf of NC’s 12,000 Uninsured Veterans
(Triad / Triangle, NC) – February 28, 2022 – Today, the statewide, nonpartisan Care4Carolina coalition announced that American Heroes for NC is adding its voice to the growing body of healthcare, business, and faith organizations calling on North Carolina to finally close its deadly healthcare coverage gap.
An estimated 12,000 veterans struggling in North Carolina would gain access to affordable health insurance if North Carolina closed its coverage gap. In addition, many of these veterans have families who are also in the gap.
American Heroes for North Carolina joins the NC Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the statewide chapter of the nation’s largest veterans group, in calling on North Carolina to close the gap.
“Our mission as an organization is to support North Carolina veterans and to educate the wider public about the value veterans bring to our NC communities,” says Jim Hoffman, president and founder, American Heroes for NC. “Right now, North Carolina is failing our veterans by leaving legions of vets uninsured within the coverage gap, many with health ailments developed during their years in the service. We can and must do better.”
Only an estimated 40 percent of all veterans are enrolled in the VA system. Eligibility for VA care is dependent on service duration, discharge, and disability, leaving many veterans uninsured and unable to get the care they need, even after fulfilling their military commitment.
States that have closed their health care coverage gap under the Affordable Care Act have lower rates of uninsured veterans than those that did not.
In a statewide poll, 81% of all respondents – Republican, Democrat or otherwise – favored expanding Medicaid in order to provide insurance for those who served our country in the armed forces and who now fall into NC’s coverage gap.
Many military veterans, especially those in NC’s rural counties, face significant barriers to accessing healthcare services. For veterans enrolled in the VA, long drive times to the nearest VA clinic present a substantial burden. Veterans residing in rural areas tend to be older and tend to have more complicated health needs; traveling long distances to receive care is simply unfeasible for this population.
Adds Hoffman, who served in the US Army during the 1980s and who was Honorably Discharged as a Major: “In 2021, the NC General Assembly extended Medicaid coverage for many new mothers and other parents in the coverage gap. This positive move is proof that we can and should collaborate on a broader North Carolina-tailored plan that helps others in the gap, including all of our veterans. It would be wrong to leave them behind.”
To find out more about the coverage gap, please visit care4carolina.com
About American Heroes for North Carolina
American Heroes for North Carolina is a 501(c)3 nonprofit founded by veterans. AH4NC promotes the interests of former members of the US Armed Services who served their country honorably, whose family members sacrificed their time and treasure to make it possible for their family to serve and to protect America’s freedoms, and who now seek to fulfill their goals to become productive citizens and community leaders.