About 75 percent of North Carolinians who are eligible for insurance subsidies could end up not enrolling for subsidized health coverage next year, according to an analysis released Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
It’s long been known that that the Affordable Care Act would not have a 100 percent adoption rate, but the percentage of those who reject subsidized coverage remains speculative. Those who fail to get health insurance and don’t qualify for an exemption will face a fine to be garnished by the IRS from tax refunds.
The Kaiser Family Foundation said that about 17 million Americans, including 684,000 North Carolinians, will qualify for federal subsidies on insurance premiums next year.
Kaiser’s estimate is significantly lower than a recent projection by Families USA, a national nonprofit, which said about 869,000 in North Carolina would be eligible for subsidized insurance. Kaiser’s estimate was derived by sifting demographic data and then eliminating certain categories of uninsured people, such as those who can obtain health coverage through a spouse’s employer.
The Kaiser study also cites an estimate by the U.S. Congressional Budget Office that in 2014, the first year of the Affordable Care Act’s insurance mandate, a total of 7 million Americans would enroll, including 6 million who qualify for subsidies.
If three-fourths of North Carolinians opted out, 513,00 residents would skip coverage, and only 171,000 would enroll next year.
Enrollment is expected to increase substantially in subsequent years, however. The CBO projected that between 2014 and 2018, nationwide enrollment among those who qualify for subsidies would rise from 6 million to 20 million.