Dec 1, 2023 - News

600,000 North Carolinians are newly eligible for Medicaid

Roy Cooper

Gov. Roy Cooper celebrates Medicaid expansion in Charlotte. Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

Some 300,000 North Carolinians who were receiving limited benefits woke up Friday with full healthcare coverage.

  • Of those, 33,011 are in Mecklenburg County.

What’s happening: Medicaid expansion, effective Dec. 1, is expected to eventually cover around 600,000 people — 80% of whom are in working families.

  • Mecklenburg County anticipates nearly 67,000 residents receive the expansion within the first three years, according to the Department of Community Resources.

Catch up quick: Medicaid expansion was included in this year’s state budget after Senate leader Phil Berger, one of Medicaid expansion’s staunchest opponents, reversed his position last year.

By the numbers: Adults ages 19 to 64, earning up to 138% of the federal poverty line, may be newly eligible.

  • For a single person, that’s $20,000 a year. It’s $41,400 for a family of four.
  • Previously, some individuals were making just a little too much to qualify.

Zoom in: About 70% of Charlotte Community Health Clinic’s nearly 6,000 patients were uninsured last year. Nearly half of those individuals are now going to be eligible for Medicaid, CEO Carolyn Allison said at a press conference with Gov. Roy Cooper Friday.

  • Cooper handed Penny Wingard her new insurance card at the event. Wingard was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013. On her last day of radiation treatment, she lost coverage. She says she lived in fear of the cancer coming back.
  • “It’s like, I got sick, and I was punished for it,” she said.

The big picture: The governor says the greater economy, small businesses, rural hospitals and law enforcement, who deal with people with substance use disorders and mental illness, will benefit from the expansion.

Yes, but: Medicaid expansion is still “in peril,” Cooper says.

  • “We’ve already had former President Trump say just this week that he’s ready to do away with the Affordable Care Act and replace it with something ‘better,'” Cooper said with air quotes, “which nobody has seen yet.”
  • Former President Trump recently wrote in a post on Truth Social, “The cost of Obamacare is out of control, plus, it’s not good Healthcare.”

Find out more about enrollment and eligibility at medicaid.nc.gov.

  • Those who need help can also contact NC Navigator Consortium at 1-855-733-3711 or schedule a free appointment at ncnavigator.net.
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