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North Carolina Officially Launches Medicaid Expansion

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Article

As of today, 40 states and Washington, D.C., have expanded their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act.

North Carolina flag © Lulla - stock.adobe.com

North Carolina flag © Lulla - stock.adobe.com

North Carolina officially expanded its Medicaid coverage today under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), leaving just 10 states that haven’t taken advantage of the Medicaid expansion provision of the Obama administration’s sweeping 2010 healthcare reform law.

Those states are: Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Texas, Tennessee, and Alabama.

The expansion in North Carolina will mean Medicaid coverage for an estimated 600,000 low-income residents ages 19 to 64 with incomes of $20,120 or less. The income limit increases by $7,094 with each additional household member, according to North Carolina Health News.

For residents already enrolled, this change will be automatic.

“This is a critical milestone for so many people in North Carolina who until now have faced unnecessary barriers to health care,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure in a press release. “Expanding Medicaid is a major step forward towards equity in health for all North Carolinians, especially those in underserved communities, as well as helping to support hospitals across the state.

However, not everyone agrees. Former president Donald Trump and the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination next year recently took to social media to denounce the ACA. Medicaid expansion is one of the reasons the ACA has proved to be popular, especially among Democrats, although a number of Republican-leaning, red states have recently expanded their Medicaid programs, including South Dakota, Missouri and Nebraska.

“Donald Trump is campaigning on a threat to rip away health care from millions of Americans, so we’re going to use every tool in our arsenal to make sure the American people know that lives are literally on the line next November,” said Biden campaign communications director Michael Tyler in an interview with with AP.

Open enrollment is available on the federal Marketplace. Those with questions can contact the N.C. Navigator Consortium, which offers free consultations.

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