Medicaid expansion launches in North Carolina; Over 600,000 newly eligible with nearly 300,000 automatically enrolled – OBX Today

Medicaid expansion launches in North Carolina; Over 600,000 newly eligible with nearly 300,000 automatically enrolled - OBX Today
(Gov. Roy Cooper/Twitter)

Today, Governor Roy Cooper and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kody H. Kinsley celebrated the launch of Medicaid expansion, extending health care coverage to more than 600,000 newly eligible North Carolinians through NC Medicaid. Of those individuals, 300,000 North Carolinians were receiving limited Medicaid Family Planning benefits and have been automatically enrolled to receive full health care coverage through NC Medicaid starting today.

“After years of fighting for high-quality health care for every person in our state, today’s launch of Medicaid expansion means more than 600,000 North Carolinians can now access the care they need to stay healthier, treat sickness earlier and have the peace of mind knowing health care is within their reach.” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Together with our partners in communities across the state, we will get the word out and help more people sign up for this life-changing care.”

Medicaid expansion will cover people ages 19 through 64 years with higher incomes, closing the coverage gap for North Carolinians. For example, expansion gives health care coverage to single individuals making under $20,000 a year. Likewise, a family of three earning less than $34,000 combined is now eligible. Medicaid pays for doctor visits, yearly check-ups, emergency care, mental health and more — at little or no cost to participants.

“More than 300,000 North Carolinians woke up today with full Medicaid health care coverage,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Kody H. Kinsley. “This is a historic moment that will change North Carolina for the better, improving the health of our people and the health of our economy. It is the most significant investment in health care in North Carolina’s history.”

NCDHHS launched a portal that includes information on income requirements, flyers with more information, videos on how to apply and other essential information.

NCDHHS is partnering with trusted community leaders to help get the word out to North Carolinians. People across the state can sign up to volunteer in a variety of ways including sharing materials, giving community presentations, volunteering at events and more. Community-based organizations, health workers, community advocates and others can complete this form to help spread the word about Medicaid.

More information about NC Medicaid is available in online FAQs (Spanish FAQs). To find out if you’re eligible or to apply for Medicaid, visit today.

Governor Cooper and Secretary Kinsley marked the start of Medicaid expansion at an enrollment event in Charlotte at the Goodwill Opportunity Campus co-hosted by the NC Navigator Consortium, the Charlotte Community Health Clinic, and the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy.

“At the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, we see so many clients who struggle with income stability and housing insecurity, who are then told they make too much to qualify for Medicaid,” said CEO Toussaint Romain. “For them, Medicaid expansion is a literal lifeline that ensures they don’t have to choose between going to the doctor or putting food on the table.”

“This expansion will allow Charlotte Community Health Clinic to serve more people with necessary primary and preventive care,” said CEO Carolyn Allison. “Access to healthcare changes lives, and we are thrilled this is finally happening.”

“The NC Navigator Consortium has a 10-year track record of helping North Carolinians find quality, affordable health coverage,” said Nicholas Riggs, director of the NC Navigator Consortium. “Our Health Insurance Navigators can help anyone understand their Medicaid eligibility, and either apply for Medicaid or enroll in Marketplace coverage.”