In 2006, HWTF commissioned the Task Force for a Healthier North Carolina through a $300,000 grant to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). UNC-CH entered into a subcontract with the Lewin Group, a national health care and human services consulting firm, to provide additional analytical support to UNC-CH staff and the Task Force. The performance period for the HWTF contract began July 15, 2006 and extended through December 31, 2007.
HWTF Solution (program description)
During 2006 and 2007, the Task Force for a Healthier North Carolina held public forums and made recommendations on strategies to improve access to health insurance for seniors, working families and small businesses. The three substantive policy topics of focus were:
- Medicare Part D Program and Supporting Prescription Drug Coverage for Seniors: Explore how the state and HWTF can provide financial and/or other forms of assistance to Medicare drug coverage beneficiaries
- Enrollment in and Access to Public-Sponsored Health Coverage and Federal/State Tax Credits for Working Families: Explore ways to improve access to and enrollment in public sector health programs for children (Medicaid, S-CHIP) and to provide mechanisms to support and assist taxpayers in claiming (income and health-related) federal and state income tax benefits (i.e., credits)
- Small Business, Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance and the Underinsured: Explore public and private strategies to strengthen employer provision of health insurance; improve small business access to affordable group health insurance coverage; improve employee access to health insurance coverage in the individual and/or group market during employment transitions; and limit financial exposure for the underinsured
Key Accomplishments (outcomes todate)
The Task Force has issued formal reports outlining recommendations on next steps to address each of these issues. Along with assistance from many groups and individuals working on these issues, several of the task force recommendations have been implemented.