RALEIGH, NC – June 1, 2022 – New health care legislation which includes Medicaid expansion (called House Bill 149) has been passed by the North Carolina State Senate on June 1st by a near unanimous vote. The measure has been sent to the House for consideration. The income threshold for Medicaid coverage would increase from 100% to 138% of the federal poverty guidelines and provide health care access for up to 600 thousand uninsured low-income people and families. Republican Phil Berger, the highest-ranking officer of the Senate, strongly supports Medicaid expansion. He cites the durability of the federal promise to defray the state’s cost for Medicaid expansion by 90% and recent improvements in how Medicaid is administered. The House Republican leader Tim Moore, does not feel that there is sufficient Republican support so the bill may not be filed. The House would have to approve the bill before heading to Governor Cooper for his signature. The Governor is a long-time supporter of expanding Medicaid. He said, “I believe that we’re getting closer than ever to an agreement.”
The proposal eliminates the certificate of need law, covers telehealth services, prevents surprise medical bills from out-of-network providers, and allows advanced practice registered nurses to provide patient care without physician supervision. The state’s cost for expanding Medicaid would be covered by hospital assessments and the expansion would end if the federal government reduces state subsidies.
Erica Smith Palmer, the Executive Director of Care4Carolina, a nonprofit organization that advocates for expanding access to healthcare in North Carolina, notes “We look forward to making 2022 the year we close the coverage gap for all those without an affordable option for health insurance.”
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