North Carolina Medicaid expansion unlikely in 2023

North Carolina's Medicaid expansion could be delayed until 2024, North Carolina Health News reported Aug. 29.

“Unfortunately, as we've come into this final week of August, it's become clear to us that we will not be able to have a budget passed in time and enacted. Nor will we have separate authority to move forward," North Carolina HHS Secretary Kody Kinsley told reporters.

Gov. Roy Cooper signed Medicaid expansion into law in March, which is expected to provide coverage to more than 600,000 state residents. Mr. Cooper's administration set an Oct. 1 start date for the expansion, but the program's funding is linked to the passage of the state's 2023-2024 budget. The budget needed to be passed by Sept. 1, delaying expansion until later this year.

"Depending on how far it slips for them to give us the final authority to move forward, it could be December at the earliest — [or] it could slip into 2024," Mr. Kinsley said. "We're going to work to try to make it happen as soon as possible. But again, we need their thumbs-up to move forward."

North Carolina is the 40th state to expand Medicaid under the ACA.

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