In Press Releases

United Way of the Greater Triangle Expands PremiumHelp.org

Assistance with health insurance premiums for low-income residents in Durham and Orange Counties

Contact: Melanie Davis-Jones, 919-463-5030, mdavisjones@unitedwaytriangle.org

MORRISVILLE, NC (November 9, 2015) – United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT) announced the extension of the program to help low income families and individuals pay for health insurance premiums, called PremiumHelp.org, piloted in Durham County in 2014.  The program will now be available in Orange County as well as Durham. Target populations will be based on economic status, not health conditions.

“Access to healthcare is a fundamental basic need and reflects one of the core impact areas of our organization,” said Mack Koonce, President and CEO of UWGT. “For families that live at or just above the poverty level, health insurance can be out of reach even with the federal subsidies that come with the Affordable Care Act. For qualified enrollees, this program will reduce their monthly premium costs to zero, positively impacting both the adults and children.”

PremiumHelp.org will cover the balance of the health insurance premium, the amount due after the federal subsidy, for Durham and Orange County residents whose annual income is between 100 and 175 percent of the Federal Poverty Level or between $24,250.00 and $42,437.50 for a family of four.  Currently, five Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Silver-Level plans offered through the North Carolina Health Insurance Marketplace at Healthcare.gov are part of the program.

“This new program will make an important difference in the lives of uninsured people in Orange County, particularly those in the two zones we have identified for targeted outreach through the Family Success Alliance. Access to healthcare is a vital component to a family’s well-being,” said Dr. Colleen Bridger, Orange County Health Director.

For the 2016 benefit year, $1.2 million of funding has been committed to the program.

The pilot program, launched on December 15, 2014, approved more than 180 individual applications, assisting approximately 300 people with obtaining and maintaining coverage. Half had been uninsured the previous year and more than 70% were first time enrollees on HealthCare.gov.

United Way of the Greater Triangle is committed to serving the immediate basic needs of the community including access to health care as well as mobilizing the community toward solutions to some of our area’s most pressing issues.  This program address both of these goals while working to make the community healthier today and into the future.

Additional information is available at www.PremiumHelp.org.

Quick Facts

  • To qualify for this program, individuals must purchase a qualified plan from the Healthcare.Gov  website and select the advance tax credit before applying for PremiumHelp.org.
  • Availability is limited, based on funding sources, by county.
  • Premium support is provided for the 2016 benefit year.
  • Individuals that earn between 100 and 175 percent of federal poverty guidelines may be eligible for premium balance, after the federal subsidy, to be paid by the program.
  • PremiumHelp.org is only available to residents of Durham and Orange Counties.
  • PremiumHelp.org support is not available for insurance plans purchased through employers.
  • PremiumHelp.org support is only available to those that fall within qualifying income range.
  • Payments on behalf of enrollees are considered charitable gifts and are not  taxable.
  • Only select Silver–Level insurance plans are available for this program.  A full list is available here.

About United Way of the Greater Triangle (UWGT)

By working with nonprofit partners, corporations, community and county leaders, along with thousands of volunteers and donors, United Way of the Greater Triangle is creating significant community change in Durham, Johnston, Orange, and Wake counties in North Carolina through an emphasis on achieving specific results and developing lasting solutions to some of our area’s most pressing issues.

Learn more about UWGT’s work at www.unitedwaytriangle.org or find out about volunteer opportunities at www.unitedwaytriangle.org/vol.