North Carolina Agency Uses AHRQ Data to Estimate Cost of Expanding Coverage
The North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NC IOM) Task Force on Covering the Uninsured proposed recommendations for development of a state-wide program, called Healthy North Carolina. This program was modeled after the Healthy New York program. To estimate the cost of the program, the NC IOM used data from AHRQ's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) to model the effects of various program designs on the cost to the state.
Mark Holmes, PhD, NC IOM Vice President, says, "Without access to the wide range of data included in the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, the ability of the NC IOM to develop policy options aimed at covering the uninsured would have been greatly inhibited. MEPS is an invaluable resource for those interested in developing health policy."
NC IOM also used MEPS—Insurance Component data on premiums when presenting to other groups, including the North Carolina Health Insurance Innovations Commission, the North Carolina Department of Insurance Small Group Discussion Group (a group tasked with considering changes to insurance regulations in the small group market), the Governor's Task Force on Healthy Carolinians, and various North Carolina General Assembly Committees.
Fact sheets developed in connection with the North Carolina Covering the Uninsured Task Force Report and featuring MEPS-IC data were widely distributed across the state and are available at http://www.nciom.org/task-forces-and-projects/?coveringtheuninsured. The report was distributed to more than 1,250 stakeholders, including state government offices and health care facilities, libraries and insurance providers, business and political leaders.