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Hospitals and health systems support N.C. legislative proposal to expand health insurance access to working families

Closing the coverage gap is a priority for healthcare providers

Raleigh, NC – April 9, 2019  –  The North Carolina Healthcare Association endorses House Bill 655: NC Health Care for Working Families Act as a common-sense option to close the coverage gap and increase affordable access to health insurance for working individuals and families in North Carolina. By covering hard-working North Carolinians like farmers, fisherman, clergy, and veterans, this bill moves North Carolina in the right direction.

“We know that people who have health insurance coverage are more likely to get the primary and preventive care they need to get and stay healthy,” said Steve Lawler, NCHA president. “Other states that have created expanded coverage options are already seeing significant improvements in health outcomes as a result.”

As the primary healthcare safety net in their communities, North Carolina’s hospitals and health systems see firsthand the results when individuals lack access to preventive physical and mental health care. For example, nearly 144,000 North Carolinians with mental illness or substance use disorders fall in the coverage gap. Without insurance, many resort to seeking expensive crisis care in increasingly crowded emergency departments across our state.

Providing coverage for this population will give even more hard-working North Carolinians access to value-based care options that other groups, including Medicare and traditional Medicaid, have provided.

“For too long, North Carolinians have supported other states’ coverage expansion efforts,” said Lawler. “It is time to put that investment to work for our neighbors, supporting them in taking control of their health and wellness. We support a bipartisan approach to getting this done.”

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