Currently, twelve states are moving to guarantee that every parent be able to afford health insurance for their children. Many more states are starting to consider legislation to cover all kids. Now, add North Carolina to the list. Representative Verla Insko – the champion of the NC High Risk Pool – is moving forward with a bipartisan plan (H1476) to allow any parent in the state to buy affordable health insurance for their child. The coverage would be comprehensive, the cost about $160 a month, and families with incomes below $61,950 for a family of four (who don’t qualify for Medicaid or Health Choice) would get a limited subsidy based on income to reduce that premium cost.
The best part of the plan is the state cost. Building on Governor Easley’s plan for limited premium subsidies for families below the $61,950 income limit, Representative Insko’s plan just lets any family above this income limit buy the plan’s health coverage – at full cost and thus no cost to the state. Cost of the state subsidy is about $4 million the first year and $7 million the second. A drop in the bucket of the $14 billion state budget, but a drop that guarantees health coverage for all kids in North Carolina.
The bill has been quietly gathering significant support before its introduction with bipartisan signers in the General Assembly and statewide political figures like Lieutenant Governor Beverly Perdue expressing excitement in speeches for covering all children in North Carolina.