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Up to 300,000 North Carolinians could lose Medicaid with end of 'continuous coverage' requirement


At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the federal government required states to keep people on Medicaid, which meant individuals didn’t have to be reevaluated to renew each year. This was to last as long as the country was in a public health emergency.

While the public health emergency was renewed last month, what’s known as “continuous coverage” will end on March 31.

In April, states including North Carolina will require people on Medicaid to sign up to renew their coverage.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says it is preparing for the massive task of requalifying Medicaid beneficiaries for coverage. The department recognizes people will lose coverage in this process, but officials say the goal is to ensure people eligible for Medicaid do not lose coverage and those no longer eligible are transitioned smoothly to affordable health plans.

Up to 300,000 current Medicaid beneficiaries in North Carolina could lose full health care coverage with the continuous coverage requirement ending in all states.

The redetermination process will start on April 1. Each renewal can take up to 90 days. NCDHHS says it will reach out to Medicaid beneficiaries to alert them of this process.


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Sarah Delia is a Senior Producer for Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Sarah joined the WFAE news team in 2014. An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, Sarah has lived and told stories from Maine, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Art history from James Madison University, where she began her broadcast career at college radio station WXJM. Sarah has interned and worked at NPR in Washington DC, interned and freelanced for WNYC, and attended the Salt Institute for Radio Documentary Studies.