ASHEVILLE, NC – October 11, 2023 – After the recent passage of the 2023-24 North Carolina state budget, the state will expand Medicaid on December 1st. Medicaid expansion extends coverage to persons making up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level from 100 percent. It is estimated that 600 thousand additional North Carolinians will be eligible for Medicaid. Preparation has included enrollment events, training for groups that provide services to Medicaid beneficiaries, and hiring staff to register eligible people.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services have figured out a way to fast-track this process for about half of the eligible people, numbering 300 hundred thousand.
The federal COVID era rules for keeping people on Medicaid during the pandemic ended on April 1st. Therefore, states were allowed to remove people from Medicaid if they made too much money to qualify for the federal program for health insurance for low-resource individuals.
Fortunately, North Carolina has a limited Medicaid benefit that provides for family planning benefits for people who make up to 195 percent of the federal poverty level. 300 thousand people recently lost their Medicaid insurance. However, they were enrolled in this limited benefit plan and will be automatically enrolled in the full-benefit Medicaid plan.
Kody Kinsley, the secretary for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, said in an interview, “I wish that the General Assembly had moved faster, and we would be able to have had this program in place before the unwinding so that folks wouldn’t have even had any of this downtime.”
The state has about 2 months to find and enroll the remaining 300 thousand North Carolinians who are now eligible for Medicaid.
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Contact: Dr. Dick Needleman, Health reporter, 103.3 AshevilleFM, email@example.com