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North Carolina Medicaid Expansion Grants Coverage to 600,000 Residents

North Carolina's Medicaid Expansion Under ACA Offers Comprehensive Health Coverage for Thousands

December 6, 2023  – In a landmark development, North Carolina has emerged as the fourth state under the Biden-Harris Administration to embrace the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion. This pivotal move unlocks comprehensive health coverage for approximately 600,000 residents aged 19-64, marking a significant stride towards inclusive healthcare. With the expansion, these individuals will now have access to primary and preventive care, mental health and substance use disorder treatment, emergency care, and access to prescription drugs.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra celebrated this advancement, emphasizing Medicaid’s role as a crucial safety net. “Today is a victory for the 600,000 North Carolinians who have been waiting for health coverage. Medicaid is a lifeline and ensuring everyone who qualifies for it can access it remains a priority for the Biden-Harris Administration. Every American deserves quality, affordable health care and the peace of mind that comes with knowing one unexpected doctor’s visit won’t throw their life into financial chaos. I want to congratulate North Carolina on joining the ranks of states that are bringing quality health coverage to our neighbors and families. I encourage the remaining 10 states to join us, so that every eligible person can get covered.”

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper also expressed his enthusiasm, highlighting the profound impact on public health, particularly in addressing the opioid crisis, salvaging rural hospitals, and energizing the state’s economy. “Medicaid Expansion is the working families bill of the decade for North Carolina, and its impact on peoples’ health, combating the opioid crisis, saving rural hospitals and boosting our economy will be life-changing for families in our state. I am particularly grateful for the federal signing bonus that President Biden signed into law that was a major part of our successful effort to finally expand Medicaid. I encourage anyone who thinks they might qualify to visit to learn more.”

CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure echoed these sentiments, recognizing the expansion as a key step towards health equity, particularly benefiting underserved communities and bolstering hospitals across North Carolina.

The recent expansion dramatically opens doors for nearly all adults with an annual income below $20,120 to access Medicaid’s extensive health coverage. This significant move ensures coverage of vital health services, including primary and preventive care, treatments for mental health and substance use disorders, emergency services, and the provision of necessary prescription medications.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration’s guidance, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is actively encouraging the ten states that have yet to adopt this expansion to consider its far-reaching benefits. Such an expansion could provide essential health coverage to an estimated 3.5 million more people, profoundly impacting communities of color, which represent a large segment of the uninsured demographic in these states.

By aligning with 39 states and the District of Columbia, North Carolina’s decision not only broadens healthcare accessibility but also secures an approximate $1.8 billion in supplemental federal funding courtesy of the American Rescue Plan.

Medicaid, in collaboration with the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), stands as a fundamental pillar in the American healthcare system, connecting close to 90 million residents to indispensable health services. North Carolina’s embrace of this expansion represents a crucial step in America’s sustained endeavor to guarantee healthcare for every citizen, emphasizing the nation’s commitment to health equity and accessibility.

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