WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — It's been more than a month since lawmakers approved Medicaid expansion, however, leaders say an estimated 700,000 people in the state will still be uninsured after it goes into effect.
What You Need To Know
- Lawmakers approved Medicaid expansion
- There will be 700,000 people in the state who are still uninsured
- The North Carolina Association of Free & Charitable Clinics is bridging the gap
According to Healthcare.gov, people under the age of 62 eligible for Medicaid under the proposed expansion can earn up to 138% of the federal poverty level and still qualify.
In our state, that means a family of four with an income of around $30,000 or a single person earning $18,000 would be eligible for coverage. Overall, the number of uninsured people would drop by around 4% across the board.
The North Carolina Association of Free & Charitable Clinics says it's working to provide care and bridge the gap for those who don't qualify.
"Those are the working poor," CEO April Cook said. "That was going to individuals that are on the front line. Those individuals are landscapers, individuals working in restaurants and service folks. Many of our patients have two or three jobs that are part-time jobs to be full-time jobs and are not eligible for insurance."
Lisa Fudge is one person being impacted. She's been dealing with health issues for over 15 years.
"I don't have insurance," Fudge said. "You know, being low income and then losing your job due to COVID.”
However, Community Care Center of Forsyth County has been her saving grace. It's one of 70 clinics across the state, a part of The North Carolina Association of Free & Charitable Clinics, that's working to bridge the gap.
"With the Medicaid, I'm always denied," Fudge said. "And you come here, and they take care of you, provide health care, they provide my medication. Now that I have my meds, I'm being mobile, and I'm able to work.”
The total number of people covered varies across the state and depends on some socio-economic conditions, such as geographic location and level of education.