For Immediate Release
State’s Largest Nurses Group to Fight for Closing the Coverage Gap Exacerbated by COVID-19
March 16, 2021
RALEIGH, NC - Today, Care4Carolina announced the North Carolina Nurses Association (NCNA) is adding its voice to the more than 88 local and statewide healthcare providers and leaders in their coalition calling on NC leaders to close the healthcare “coverage gap.”
The “coverage gap” refers to people who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to get help in the private insurance marketplace. Prior to COVID-19, the Kaiser Family Foundation estimated that if North Carolina closed its coverage gap, over 400,000 North Carolinians would gain health insurance.
The state is now presented with a new incentive to once and for all close the gap. In the recently passed federal stimulus bill, states are provided a new incentive to close their coverage gaps: a two year, five percentage point increase in the federal match rate for Medicaid. For North Carolina, that would mean an influx of between $1.7 and $2.4 billion over the next two years. This could be a real game-changer in North Carolina.
“Everyone benefits when more people have access to timely, affordable healthcare. NCNA has supported previous efforts to close the coverage gap, so we are thrilled to make it ‘official’ by joining the C4C coalition,” said NCNA President Dennis A. Taylor, RN, DNP, PhD, ACNP-BC, FCCM. “Now is the time for legislators to take decisive action and we look forward to supporting legislation this session that has a meaningful impact on the coverage gap.”
There are over 140,000 Registered Nurses in North Carolina, making them the most populous of all healthcare professionals. For the past 19 years, nurses have been rated the most honest and ethical profession in the country, according to Gallup. They treat patients in every county and in every setting and see firsthand the impact of patients who cannot afford quality healthcare.
“As the lifeblood of our state’s health and healthcare system, nurses are on the front line of providing care to North Carolinians with and without healthcare coverage,” says Erica Palmer Smith, director, Care4Carolina. “They see the stress and desperation in the eyes of a patient in need of care but who knows they can’t afford it. Care4Carolina counts North Carolina’s nurses as one of the most important and relevant voices in the call to close the coverage gap.”
Care4Carolina is actively recruiting additional partners who also believe access to quality, affordable health care helps build a healthier, stronger North Carolina. Covering the uninsured means better premium value for North Carolinians with private health insurance by lowering costs for everyone. Providing health insurance coverage will help people gain access to the care they need, which improves health outcomes.
To find out more, visit care4carolina.com.
Chris Cowperthwaite, APR
Director of Communications & Outreach
(919) 821-4250 or firstname.lastname@example.org
As the leading professional organization for North Carolina’s registered nurses, we equip nurses at all stages to thrive in an ever-changing healthcare environment. NCNA helps keep North Carolina nurses on the cutting edge of nursing practice, policy, education, and more. Join us as we work to advance nursing and ensure high-quality healthcare for everyone.
Established in 1902, NCNA provides continuing education, networking and legislative advocacy for registered nurses throughout North Carolina. For more information, please visit www.ncnurses.org.
The North Carolina Nurses Association serves the changing needs of its members, addresses nursing issues, and advocates for the health and well-being of all people.