Luis is Left Out: A Story of Falling into the Health Insurance Coverage Gap

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The numbers are in, uninsured rates have been dramatically declining, prices haven’t spiked, and people are getting the health care they need. However, some states haven’t taken full advantage of the Affordable Care Act through expanding Medicaid to cover those up to 138% of poverty. South Carolina is one of those states – leaving out 178,000 individuals. Unfortunately these people do not qualify for Medicaid in SC or subsidies to help buy insurance through the Marketplace because they do not fit into a specific eligibility group. Those who are not eligible for Medicaid are mostly adults without children or working families with children, and make up what is called the Health Insurance Coverage Gap.

This is one man’s story, but Luis is not alone. In South Carolina there are thousands of South Carolinians who remain uninsured and unable to access health care when they need it. We need your help in urging our Legislators to close the health insurance coverage gap and join the 30 other states and the District of Columbia to close the gap. Contact your senator and tell them it’s time to bring our tax dollars home and ensure every South Carolinian can have access to affordable health care when they need it.

One of the many benefits of Medicaid expansion is that more people can use their health coverage for routine check-ups and screenings instead of waiting until they are very ill. People who utilize preventative care by seeing a primary care doctor instead of waiting too long and rushing to the emergency room are reducing overall health care costs thus keeping people healthier.

When states don’t expand Medicaid to cover individuals up to 138% of poverty you find people like Luis, along with thousands of other working individuals who would not only benefit from seeing the doctor when they are sick, but also from having peace of mind. Every South Carolinian needs to be able to afford to see a doctor, and it’s time for the legislature to stop ignoring this issue and solve this problem by closing the health insurance coverage gap in South Carolina.

close the gapSC Appleseed, along with many of our non-profit partners, including AARP- SC, the League of Women Voters, statewide associations, business leaders, SC Small Business Chamber of Commerce, and individuals who are concerned about the future of healthcare in South Carolina formed the “Close the Gap SC” coalition. We support a plan that extends health care coverage to the more than 178,000 South Carolinians through the use of existing federal funds our state has failed to drawn down and use. To find out how you can be a part of this positive effort please visit Close The Gap SC!