Did North Carolina accept the Medicaid Expansion?

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The Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion is an important development for Medicaid applicants. Currently, the ACA Medicaid expansion in North Carolina is not available, since the state voted against it. The expansion is part of The Affordable Care Act (ACA), a comprehensive health care reform law that was enacted in March 2010 to expand Medicaid. When individuals ask “What is the Obamacare Medicaid expansion?” they are referring to the ACA Medicaid Expansion. In participating states, this expansion provides more coverage options to people who are unable to qualify for the regular Medicaid program. Learn about Affordable Care Act Medicaid eligibility and related topics by reviewing the following information.

 

Obamacare Medicaid Expansion Details

Many may be wondering, “What is the expansion of Medicaid and what does it mean for Medicaid petitioners?” The primary goal of the Medicaid expansion is to expand the Medicaid program so that it provides comprehensive coverage to all adults with an income up to 133% of the federal poverty level. States that have accepted the ACA expansion of Medicaid have extended Medicaid coverage to many beneficiaries who were previously unable to qualify for Medicaid. Most of the participants who were unable to qualify for Medicaid before the expansion of Medicaid were also unable to afford private insurance on their own, and thus had no feasible option for medical insurance. To learn more about states that have accepted the Medicaid expansion, download our complimentary guide.

ACA Medicaid Expansion Cost to States

The ACA Medicaid expansion has provided more comprehensive coverage for residents, but it does come with a cost. States that have approved the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion are expected to reach $8.5 billion dollars in spending for Medicaid programs, which is a $4 billion increase from 2016, according to a national report released by the National Association of State Budget offices. The federal government initially covered the full cost of a state’s Medicaid expansion, but states are now expected to pay 10 percent of their Medicaid expansion programs by 2020.

The Affordable Care Act Medicaid Application and ACA Medicaid Eligibility

Residents who live in a state that has accepted the Obamacare Medicaid expansion can fill out their application online when they apply for health care through the Affordable Care Act website. Applicants will automatically be checked to see if they qualify for CHIP or Medicaid. This system allows individuals and families to apply for coverage using a single application. Obamacare Medicaid eligibility guidelines are simple to understand. ACA Medicaid participants must be younger than 65 years of age with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level. Under the Affordable Care Act expansion, states can provide coverage for low-income adults who may be without children.

The Affordable Care Act Medicaid Expansion in North Carolina

Unfortunately, the ACA Medicaid expansion in North Carolina is not available yet. In 2013, a bill banning the Medicaid expansion in North Carolina was passed by North Carolina’s General Assembly. The Governor at the time, Pat McCrory (R), was eager to expand Affordable Care Act Medicaid coverage in NC to many residents in need, but was ultimately unable to when the state decided to not expand the program. There are currently over one million state residents participating in Medicaid, with the majority being children. North Carolina’s current governor, Roy Cooper (D), has announced multiple times that he plans to provide an NC Medicaid expansion through executive action to provide more coverage to people in need. A federal judge has temporarily suspended Governor Cooper’s North Carolina Medicaid expansion request, but Cooper is determined to utilize the ACA Medicaid expansion for residents in North Carolina.

Recently in North Carolina’s state House, a group of Republicans have filed a bill that would extend Medicaid coverage to more needy people by charging hospitals to help pay for their services. Although the ACA Medicaid expansion in NC was rejected, the House bill that was filed is intended to help cover more individuals who do not meet the eligibility guidelines for Medicaid. House bill 662 proposes a new program that will fall under Medicaid in North Carolina called “Carolina Cares.” Many residents believe that this expansion of Medicaid in NC is the first step in North Carolina moving towards a more comprehensive Medicaid expansion program. Carolina Cares would be targeted to individuals who are earning less than 133% of the federal poverty level, which is the same as the ACA’s requirements. Aside from premiums, the funds to pay for the expansion would likely come from the federal Medicaid expansion dollars. The remaining balance would be paid by hospitals. Many believe that Carolina Cares will be the health care coverage answer to the needs of 500,000 Carolinians in the Medicaid coverage gap. Closing this gap will not only extend coverage but help families avoid financial stress and stay covered.