When the Caregivers Can’t Get Care

Thousands of parents of children with special health care needs fall into North Carolina’s health insurance “coverage gap.”

By: Kaylan Szafranski | October 2021

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A new issue brief from NC Child, Care for the Caregivers explores the role that affordable health insurance could play in supporting families of children with special health care needs.

More than 1 in 5 children in North Carolina have special health care needs – including chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, and emotional conditions. For many parents, grandparents, and foster parents, caring for a child with special health care needs can be a full-time job. Unfortunately, that job is one that does not usually involve a salary or health benefits.

Download the full issue brief here. 

Listen to Families’ Voices


Nearly 200 families of children with special health care needs participated in NC Child’s “Care for the Caregivers” survey in June 2021.

  • 20% of parents in the survey reported that they are uninsured.
  • 87% of uninsured parents reported they had skipped needed health care due to cost.
  • Over 60% of uninsured parents disclosed that health care issues have interfered with their ability to care for their child.

Closing the coverage gap in North Carolina would provide health coverage to an estimated 600,000 currently uninsured adults. The uninsured population in our state is made up of essential workers, students, veterans, and parents, including those taking care of our some of our state’s most medically vulnerable children.

Expanding Medicaid would support tens of thousands of parents in our state who care for children with special health care needs, by improving health outcomes, increasing family economic security, and making it easier for them to care for children at home rather than in an institutional setting.

You can help

North Carolina lawmakers have the opportunity to accept billions in federal funding, to expand Medicaid and provide affordable health coverage to those in our state who really need it. Join us today in urging your lawmakers to expand Medicaid!

Download & read the full issue brief here

Help us keep fighting for health coverage for North Carolina families with a donation today.