by Rebecca Clendenin, Action for Children.
Yesterday, monumental legislation was signed into being by Governor Mike Easley. The final state budget included NC Kid's Care and a 3.5% refundable earned income tax credit (EITC), both of which will improve outcomes for children and families across our state.
NC Kids’ Care, which begins on July 1, 2008, will make available affordable health insurance coverage to 38,000 currently uninsured children in families between 200%-300% of the Federal Poverty Line ($42,000-$62,000 per year for a family of four). Families would participate in the cost of care in the form of deductibles, co-payments and monthly premiums subsidized on a sliding scale based on income. The NC legislature approved $368,000 to establish administration of the program in the first year, and has agreed to fully fund the Kids’ Care program at $7 million in subsequent years. This expansion of health insurance means that thousands more children will become eligible for affordable health coverage.
Additionally, the NC General Assembly adopted a 3.5% NC refundable EITC. The EITC will give a tax credit to more than 825,000 working North Carolinians at the time they file their state tax returns.
Action for Children hopes that this marks a first step in providing even more needed supports for our working families.