ECU Health Medical Center responds to the expansion of Medicaid in North Carolina

Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 6:54 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - More affordable healthcare is coming to North Carolina as Governor Roy Cooper signed off on legislation expanding Medicaid on Monday.

Medicaid provides health coverage to many Americans including low-income adults, children, pregnant women, elderly adults, and people with disabilities, according to Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“This money allows us to be able to continue to serve our region, help us bolster hospitals that have really struggled through the pandemic, and so without this money, hospitals are having to contract their service which is the opposite of what we’d like to be able to do. It’s a historic day. We’re proud of the legislature and the community’s advocacy and look forward to being able to serve Eastern North Carolina,” says ECU Health Medical Center President and Chief Operating Officer, Brian Floyd.

It’s expected with Gov. Cooper’s signing the expansion of Medicaid that more than 600,000 people across North Carolina will qualify for that coverage, as well bringing billions of federal dollars into the state.

In Eastern North Carolina alone, the expansion will provide coverage to more than 100,000 North Carolinians.

“We’re grateful for not only the General Assembly for their support but also the region and community that has showed up to support ECU Health get through the difficult time for the past few years and as always, we’re always so proud of our team-- the nurses, doctors, all of our caregivers. They show up everyday despite the many challenges of healthcare delivered in this arena,” Floyd told WITN.

Along with the Medicaid expansion program is a program called the Healthcare Access and Stabilization Program or otherwise known as HASP.

Floyd says that both programs can help hospitals tremendously during this post-pandemic time. “What it’s meant to do is augment the Medicaid program which allows for additional funding, recognizing the significant burden and costs of delivering care in a rural or underserved region. On the backside of Medicaid expansion, hospitals will experience a different rate of pay closer to like insurance companies would pay and together those programs really help hospitals recover in this post-pandemic arena.”

Veterans, early childhood educators, restaurant workers, and nursing home workers are all among the groups that often fall into the coverage gap and sometimes have to work two or more jobs to afford health care according to Cooper’s speech Monday.

Along with many other states, North Carolina is the 40th state to expand Medicaid.