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State updates Medicaid expansion numbers

April 3—TRIAD — State officials report that more than 400,000 North Carolina residents have signed up for Medicaid health insurance since the program expanded four months ago, including nearly 38,000 in the three-county region around High Point.

The governor’s office and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services updated enrollment numbers this week. Registrations started on December 1.

More than 23,500 new clients have registered in Guilford County. The total is more than 7,200 in Randolph County and more than 6,900 in Davidson County, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

New enrollees disproportionately live in rural counties and are between 19 and 29 years old, the governor said. Roy Cooper said.

“So many younger, working people desperately need affordable health insurance, and Medicaid expansion is filling the bill for thousands of them and for people through age 64,” he said.

Since Dec. 1, North Carolina has enrolled an average of more than 1,000 people per day in its Medicaid expansion, which North Carolina officials say is a faster pace than other states that have expanded the program.

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For the more than 400,000 new enrollees, Medicaid has provided about 705,000 prescriptions and covered about $11.2 million in claims for dental services since Dec. 1, state officials report. The state is expected to sign up a total of at least 600,000 new Medicaid enrollees over the course of two years.

After years of failing to reach a deal on Medicaid expansion, Cooper and Republican leaders of the N.C. General Assembly reached an agreement in March 2023. The delay between the deal and the expansion of coverage gave state and county agencies time to prepare to deal with the influx of new Medicaid applications.

pjohnson@hpenews.com — 336-888-3528 — @HPEpaul

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