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Expanded Medicaid for new mothers begins in NC

April 1, 2022 GMT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — New mothers can now receive one year of full Medicaid coverage after delivery as a new state law expanding services took effect Friday.

The 12-month coverage option was offered to states in a COVID-19 relief and stimulus package approved by Congress last year. The North Carolina state government budget approved by the General Assembly in November and signed by Gov. Roy Cooper accepted that offer.

Until now, women whose households received up to nearly twice the poverty level could receive 60 days of post-partum coverage.

Most pregnant women and those whose pregnancies have ended also will receive full Medicaid benefits, and not just maternity-focused benefits previously provided, the state Department of Health and Human Services said.

The expanded services also can now be accessed by anyone currently pregnant or who gave birth between Feb. 1 and March 31, DHHS said in a news release, and otherwise qualifies based on income.

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This extended coverage is currently authorized for five years.

The state’s cost share for the enrollment coverage, anticipated to be roughly $50 million annually, will be paid for through increased hospital assesments receipts, budget documents say. The federal government pays the remainder.