Tuesday, August 19, 2014

98,000 uninsured in NC could qualify for help

Almost 98,000 uninsured North Carolinians may qualify for special enrollment that could get them subsidized health insurance, according to estimates released today by the nonprofit Enroll America.

The 2015 open enrollment period for Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges doesn't start until Nov. 15,  but life changes such as marriage, moving or losing a job spark 60-day special enrollment periods.

The federal government hasn't released any numbers on how many have actually taken advantage of that option,  but Enroll America used Census data to estimate the percent of each state's uninsured population likely to experience a move,  marriage,  birth or new citizenship in the seven months between 2014 and 2015 open enrollment.

In North Carolina that would come to 6.9 percent of more than 1.4 million uninsured,  or 97,905 people.  In South Carolina the group estimates that 47,850 people,  or 6.8 percent of the uninsured population,  experienced one of those changes.

The report also says almost 52,500 people in North Carolina and 29,650 in South Carolina are likely to be released from incarceration or earn permanent resident status during that seven-month stretch.  Those events also trigger special eligibility.