North Carolina Has Highest Increase in Number of Uninsured U.S. Residents; Unemployment, Lack of Coverage Linked
The Washington Post on Monday examined the "burgeoning medical crisis" in North Carolina, where a precipitous rise in unemployment has contributed to the U.S.' largest increase in the number of uninsured residents. Over the previous two years, the number of people who are uninsured has increased by 22.5%, according to an analysis by the North Carolina Institute of Medicine. As a result, about 25% of adults in North Carolina, or 1.8 million people, are uninsured, compared with about 22% across the U.S. In addition, 9% of state residents are underinsured, according to the analysis.
North Carolina's unemployment rate -- which has doubled in the previous year to 10.7%, the fourth-highest rate in the U.S. -- has contributed to the rise in the number of uninsured. The Post reports that insurance and employment are linked because most U.S. residents receive health coverage through their jobs. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, every 1% increase in the national unemployment rate results in 1.1 million U.S. residents losing their health care coverage.
The Post also profiled four health care facilities in North Carolina and how they are affected by the economy and the increase in uninsured patients (Connolly, Washington Post, 4/20).