Medicaid Works for Families and for the State
The concept of community health centers was introduced in the late 1960s as a way to provide health care in urban and rural settings to individuals who face barriers to care. Community health centers are key providers of care to the Medicaid population because their mission is to help medically underserved communities and populations with significant health disparities. The changing health care landscape lends itself to questions about how and for whom we should spend available federal and state dollars. The state's Medicaid program utilizes some of those funds to provide health insurance coverage to children and low-income adults. One example of health insurance coverage benefiting a North Carolina family is that of a woman we will call Jane. Jane came to a recent Greene County Health Care enrollment event for federal marketplace coverage. Jane is the mother of 2 children, aged 12 years and 8 years, who works at a small dry cleaning business and earns $8.00 per hour. Her annual salary is about $16,000. Jane understood that she needed to sign up for health insurance or incur a tax penalty. Our certified application counsellor explained to Jane that her income was below the federal poverty level, so she would not be penalized if she went without insurance coverage. Further, she did not qualify for a federal subsidy in the health insurance marketplace, making private insurance options unaffordable. However, Jane's children, who were previously uninsured, were able to get insurance coverage through Medicaid. Now, they are able to receive…
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