Jun 26, 2023 - Health

Thousands in North Carolina could lose Medicaid coverage in July

Anticipated Medicaid terminations, by state
Data: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; Chart: Tory Lysik/Axios

As the state unwinds its COVID-era health insurance policy, hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians will lose coverage.

  • And should Medicaid expansion take effect this year, the two events coinciding will create a bureaucratic headache for tens of thousands of others.

Driving the news: Beginning in April, states across the country began reassessing Medicaid eligibility for residents who received coverage under its pandemic policy, and in North Carolina recipients who are no longer eligible will be pushed off the rolls beginning in July.

  • Around 100,000 of those people will once again be eligible when Medicaid expansion takes effect — but until that happens, they will be left in limbo.

The big picture: Some 1.5 million people nationally have already been disenrolled from Medicaid as of June 22. That number is ultimately expected to rise to as high as 17 million, according to KFF.

  • While some of those individuals lined up other forms of health coverage, 73% have fallen victim to bureaucratic churn because they didn't complete the process for renewing coverage or because states had outdated contact information, Axios' Adriel Bettelheim reports.

Zoom in: Though North Carolina lawmakers passed Medicaid expansion earlier this year, the policy change, which was more than a decade in the making, will only take effect once the state budget becomes law.

  • State legislative leaders have spent weeks negotiating a budget, but it's unclear when — or if — an agreement will materialize.

Related: Listen to the "Axios Today" podcast, where host Niala Boodhoo and Adriel Bettelheim share why more than a million people are being pushed off Medicaid rolls

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