Medicaid expansion bill clears state Senate, heading to House
RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) - The North Carolina Senate voted nearly unanimously Thursday to expand a Medicaid expansion bill.
House Bill 149 passed by a vote of 44-1 in its third and final reading.
Wednesday, the vote passed with a count of 113 to 1 in its second reading.
The Medicaid expansion bill, if passed, will do the following:
- Expands Medicaid for people earning up to 138% of the federal poverty level ($38,295 for a family of four).
- Establishes the Healthcare Access and Stabilization Program which will pull down at least $600 million from the federal government – and potentially as much as $3 billion – to bolster North Carolina hospitals.
- Requires the 10% state share to be paid for through modernizing the state’s existing hospital assessment as well as enacting a new one for hospitals.
- Requires transparency in the form of annual reports from the Department of Health and Human Services on the program’s financials.
- Gives the DHHS secretary the ability to end expanded coverage if the state share cannot be covered.
- Requires the expanded coverage to be discontinued if the 90/10 federal medical assistance percentage changes.
- Establishes a work requirement to receive expanded coverage, similar to work requirements already in law.
- Reforms the state’s certificate of need laws by creating two separate application pathways.
- Stops surprise medical bills by requiring healthcare facilities to tell patients if they are scheduled to see out-of-network providers.
- Requires health insurance providers to cover telehealth services.
- Allows advanced practice registered nurses to practice at the top of their license, granting them full practice authority.
WITN talked to supporters about the impact the expansion could have.
The bill will now head to the North Carolina House of Representatives.
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