Medicaid would be extended for new moms under an NC budget proposal, lawmaker says

·2 min read

North Carolina would extend Medicaid coverage to new mothers for a full year after delivery under a provision that state Senate Republicans are expected to include in the budget they’re about to propose.

Women with incomes at or below a designated level are currently eligible for Medicaid in the state when they are pregnant and up to 60 days after birth. This extension would be implemented in April 2022.

Asked about the measure being included in the Senate budget proposal that will be released in the coming days, Sen. Jim Burgin, a Republican from Harnett County, told The News & Observer: “That’s our plan.”

It’s a mini version of Medicaid expansion, the much larger boost in government health insurance that Republican lawmakers have so far declined to pass as other red states have in recent years.

While the proposal isn’t the full Medicaid expansion Gov. Roy Cooper and North Carolina Democrats hope for, it’s supported by some Democrats and at least seven major health care organizations, including the North Carolina Medical Society and the NC Obstetrical and Gynecological Association.

Those groups issued a press release June 10 praising a separate bill sponsored by Burgin that would have implemented the same change.

That bill has yet to be heard in relevant committees that could advance it, but the language included in that bill will likely be incorporated into the budget, Burgin said. Additional details will not be made public until the full budget is released, likely next week.

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