Finally! Medicaid will expand to 600,000 more North Carolinians starting Dec. 1

Finally! Medicaid will expand to 600,000 more North Carolinians starting Dec. 1

Exactly two weeks from today, North Carolina will finally expand Medicaid health care coverage to more than 600,000 North Carolinians. 

Health care advocates and Democrats pushed for more than a decade to expand Medicaid coverage but it wasn’t until March that a bill passed the Republican-controlled legislature and was signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper. 

Unfortunately, the bill’s implementation was not straightforward and Republicans tied Medicaid expansion to the passage of a state budget, which delayed expansion by months.

What matters most right now is that the program is finally being expanded and it will help people in desperate need of health care coverage – but you probably have some questions, such as: Am I eligible? How do I find out? Where can I sign up? 

Here are some facts and information about North Carolina’s Medicaid Expansion, courtesy of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services:

  • Adults ages 19 through 64 earning up to 138% of the federal poverty line (e.g., singles earning about $20,000/year or families of three earning about $34,000/year) may be eligible. 
  • The best way to apply is online through ePASS. You can also apply in person, by phone or by mailing in an application. The processing time for applications can be up to 45 days. Applications submitted online may be processed faster. 
  • The coverage will be comprehensive, including services like primary care, hospital stays, maternity care, vision and hearing, dental/oral health care and more. 
  • Medicaid pays for doctor visits, yearly check-ups, emergency care, mental health and more – at little or no cost to you. 
  • Current beneficiaries with full Medicaid coverage will not see any changes.

Click here to take a look at a variety of informational toolkits about Medicaid.

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Patrick Zarcone

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