North Carolina officially rejected Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Health Care Act on March 6, 2013, as Governor Pat McCrory signed Senate Bill 4. The provision of the Affordable Care Act was intended to expand Medicaid eligibility to adults with incomes below 133 percent of the federal poverty line.  Qualifying persons would have ultimately included all adults below 138 percent of the federal poverty line since 5 percent of income is disregarded when determining eligibility. The Affordable Care Act provides federal funding for the expansion for the first three years, and then at least 90 percent for each of the following years.
Medicaid now covers 1,589,807 low income parents, pregnant women, children, seniors and individuals with disabilities. Parents must not only have dependent children under the age of 21, but they must also have very low incomes to be eligible. For example, the income for a family of four may not exceed $594/month for the parents to be eligible. Additionally, very poor adults between the age of 18 and 64 with no children or disability do not qualify for Medicaid despite how low their income is. Under the expansion, adults with incomes less than $14,856 would be eligible for Medicaid, regardless of their familial status. Studies have estimated the expansion would have provided an additional 500,000 uninsured adults with eligibility in North Carolina. If the state had adopted the program expansion, it has been estimated North Carolina would have saved between 1 and 2 billion over a five year period. Still, North Carolina decided to join more than twenty states, including its neighboring states – South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia – in rejecting the expansion of Medicaid program.
Read More... (2013 Legislative Report: North Carolina's Rejection of Medicaid Expansion)
| Posted by Brittany C. Croom on Wed. August 28, 2013 1:45 PM
Categories: 2013 Legislative Report, Student Research, Through Our Eyes