Local News

Program provides health coverage for those deemed uninsurable

Posted March 16, 2010 5:23 p.m. EDT
Updated March 16, 2010 9:07 p.m. EDT

— A least 1.5 million people are uninsured in North Carolina. Approximately 200,000 of them qualify for a partially state-funded health insurance program, according to Michael Keough, executive director of Inclusive Health.

Inclusive Health, which went into effect January 2009, insures people who are not eligible for Medicaid or Medicare.

Heather Murphy learned about Inclusive Health through a friend. The 32-year-old hasn’t had health insurance for nearly six years.

“My biggest fear has been getting hit by a truck and living,” she said. “If I get hit by a truck, let it kill me because if I have to go to the hospital, that devastates people.”

Because of a pre-existing neurological condition, Murphy’s monthly health insurance premiums were between $1700- $2,500. She shopped around for a cheaper private insurance plan but had no luck. With Inclusive Health, she would pay about $365 a month.

“The first thing I’m going to do is go and get a physical,” Murphy said after learning Tuesday that she was eligible for Inclusive Health benefits.

Murphy will get comprehensive health coverage with office visit co-pays and prescription drugs.

Keough said the coverage is primarily for people with pre-existing conditions who are often deemed uninsurable.

“We’re the insurer of last resort,” he said.

To qualify, people must not have any other health insurance plan. People are also eligible if they fall into one of these categories:

  • Were turned down by a health insurance provider, or accepted but at a higher cost than Inclusive Health coverage.
  • Lost a job because of overseas labor.
  • Have exhausted COBRA health insurance benefits.

Apply for Inclusive Health online or by calling 866-665-2117.