Medicaid overhaul in North Carolina now officially law

September 24, 2015 GMT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Gov. Pat McCrory says his signature on far-reaching Medicaid legislation is just the beginning of a years-long process to transform the health care program that serves more than one in six North Carolina residents.

McCrory signed a Medicaid overhaul bill into law during a ceremony Wednesday at the Executive Mansion, surrounded by legislators who helped negotiate the law. Also there was Rick Brajer, the new secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, which will carry it out.

The law will phase out the fee-for-service method North Carolina Medicaid uses to pay for treatment for most of its 1.8 million enrollees. Insurance companies and provider networks will enter into contracts and receive a fixed amount per month for each patient. This change isn’t expected until 2018 or 2019.