Advocates call for Medicaid expansion as NC unemployment increases health insurance gap

September 8, 2020

A coalition of organizations from across the state held a virtual forum Sept. 2 calling for Medicaid expansion as North Carolinians grapple with a loss of health care coverage due to unemployment amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tens of thousands of state residents have fallen into the "coverage gap" due to COVID-19, worsening an already concerning issue, according to Care4Carolina, a group advocating for affordable health care in the state.

The gap includes those who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to get help through the private insurance marketplace.

North Carolina is among 12 states that have not expanded Medicaid. Prior to COVID-19, the Kaiser Family Foundation estimated that if it did, more than 400,000 residents would gain health insurance. Care4Carolina says about 178,000 more North Carolinians are living in the gap since COVID-19 hit.

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