Gov. Cooper seeks to alleviate medical debt in North Carolina.

Governor Cooper Signs Medicaid Expansion Legislation to Alleviate Medical Debt

In a move aimed at relieving North Carolinians of $4 billion in medical debt, Governor Roy Cooper and the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) announced new actions on Monday. This initiative leverages state Medicaid funding to potentially alleviate debt for around 2 million low- and middle-income residents starting in 2025 and 2026, pending approval by the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (USCMMS).

Research findings published by KFF and NPR in June 2022 revealed that nearly 41% of adults in the US face some form of medical debt. Governor Cooper emphasized the importance of freeing people from medical debt, stating that it can be life-changing for families and boost the economic health of North Carolina.

The governor’s action will encourage hospitals to implement policies to relieve debt and decrease patient costs through additional Medicaid funding. Hospitals must meet specific requirements to be eligible for this funding, such as relieving uncollectible medical debt dating back to 2014 and providing reductions on medical bills for low-income individuals.

NCDHHS will collaborate with Undue Medical Debt, a national nonprofit, to provide this medical relief. Secretary Kody H. Kinsley highlighted the emotional and financial burden of medical debt on North Carolinians and expressed hope that relieving such debt will enable individuals and families to access care sooner, reduce the cost of care, and lead healthier lives.

Key Points:

  1. Governor Cooper signs Medicaid expansion legislation to alleviate $4 billion in medical debt.
  2. Initiative leverages state Medicaid funding to potentially help 2 million low- and middle-income residents.
  3. Hospitals must meet specific requirements to be eligible for additional Medicaid funding.
  4. Collaboration with Undue Medical Debt aims to provide relief to North Carolinians burdened by medical debt.
  5. Relief efforts are expected to boost economic health and improve access to care for residents.

    Governor Cooper’s signing of Medicaid expansion legislation in North Carolina aims to alleviate a significant amount of medical debt for low- and middle-income residents. By leveraging state Medicaid funding and collaborating with Undue Medical Debt, the initiative seeks to relieve financial burdens on individuals and families, ultimately improving access to care and enhancing economic health in the state.

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