New legislation would bring health coverage to North Carolinians stuck in the coverage gap

The North Carolina Senate has put forward a bill that would expand Medicaid in North Carolina. 

By: Tiffany Gladney | May 2022

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UPDATE: The North Carolina Senate has passed a bill to expand Medicaid. The bill now goes to the NC House of Representatives.

This is a big moment! The North Carolina Senate has put forward a bill that would expand Medicaid in North Carolina.

NC Child and hundreds of partners around the state have been working since 2013 to expand Medicaid — to make sure every North Carolinian has access to health care. It’s time to get families the health care they need and deserve. This bill is a huge step forward.

Stuck in the coverage gap

Right now, more than half a million people, including more than 100,000 parents and caregivers, fall in the coverage gap and don’t have access to affordable health insurance. These parents make too little to qualify for a plan through the health insurance marketplace and too much to qualify for Medicaid.

Parents need to be able to care for themselves so that they can be there for their kids. No parent should have to face illness, chronic conditions, cancer, or accidents without being able to turn to a doctor for help. And when parents have health insurance, kids are more likely to have coverage too

Parents deserve care

As I’ve worked on this issue over the years, I’ve met parents trying to find a way to take care of their kids even though they can’t get care themselves. I’ve met early educators who have to go without the preventative care that enables them to care for our children. If this bill passes, those North Carolinian parents and caregivers, like those in the 38 other states and DC that have already expanded Medicaid, won’t have to go without health care anymore.

It’s time to pass Medicaid expansion in North Carolina

If this bill becomes law, it will boost working families, bring new health care resources to rural communities, and make our whole state healthier. It will help hardworking families through incredibly tough times. Most of those who would be covered by expanded Medicaid are working – sometimes in multiple jobs. Many work in essential jobs like child care, food service, construction, and nursing homes. Some also care for children with special needs.

Like most bills, this one includes more than one item. Some of those additional provisions leave room for improvement. We leave that to the experts and the stakeholders on those different issues. We remain fundamentally committed to the core issue of health care access for North Carolina families – and we won’t stop until every parent and caregiver has the health care they need.

I am deeply grateful to Senators Krawiec, Burgin, Berger, Britt, Barnes, Hise, and Corbin for their leadership on this landmark bill.

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This is a pivotal moment. Watch this space for news and actions as we work together to bring this win home for North Carolina’s families.