Medicaid expansion to impact nearly 2,000 Dare residents

By on September 29, 2023

Chuck Lycett, Dare County Director of the Division of Social Services

Roughly 1,800 additional Dare County residents will now be eligible to be covered by health insurance as Medicaid expansion goes into effect in North Carolina on Dec. 1.

After a decade of political battles, North Carolina will become the 41st state to enact Medicaid expansion and will receive $1.4 billion from the Federal Government to cover the cost of expanding the program.

Currently North Carolina Medicaid covers families and individual at or below the poverty line. The expansion will cover North Carolina residents whose income is above the poverty line but below Affordable Care Act threshold, which is 138% of the poverty line.

“Medicaid expansion fills in the gap between those individuals who were eligible for Medicaid and those individuals who were eligible for the subsidies from the federal marketplace [Affordable Care Act],” Chuck Lycett, Dare County Director of the Division of Social Services explained. “There’s a gap of people in there that were never eligible for either one of those. And this fills in that gap.”

In Dare County, Lycett said, there are approximately 6,600 residents currently enrolled in Medicaid and the expansion will bring that number to a little over 8,400.

“What will happen with Medicaid expansion is they estimate, and the estimates are about two years old, but they keep standing by them, that about 1,800 people will be eligible in Dare County under Medicaid expansion,” he told the Voice.

Statewide, according to a North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCHHS) release dated Sept. 25, the expanded Medicaid coverage will be “giving more than 600,000 North Carolinians access to health care.”

Information provided on the NCHHS dashboard indicates the state currently has almost 2.9 million residents enrolled in Medicaid.

The expansion covers adults between the ages of 19-64 and their families. Adults older than 64 are covered by Medicare. For an individual, the expansion will cover uninsured residents earning between $14,580 to $20,120. For a family of four the Federal poverty level is $30,000. Coverage would include income up to $41,400.

The Outer Banks Hospital is part of ECU Health and a statement provided to the Outer Banks Voice by ECU Communications Coordinator Ashlin Elliott outlined what some of the more significant impacts will be for hospitals in areas considered rural. The Outer Banks Hospital is considered a rural hospital.

“Medicaid expansion will be transformative for access to health care in rural areas, for better mental health and for veterans, working adults and their families while bringing billions in federal dollars to the state,” the statement said.

The Medicaid expansion bill was passed as a separate budget item in March of this year. However a provision in the bill prevented it from being implemented until the North Carolina Legislature passed a budget for the upcoming year. Delays in finalizing a state budget delayed a planned Oct. 1 rollout of Medicare expansion and pushed the start date back to Dec. 1.


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  • RicknKDH

    The current population is 37,815. Since 6,600 people or 17% are currently enrolled, the expansion adds 1,800 making the total 8,400 or 22% of the population. Time for a tax increase to pay for all of this for sure!


    Friday, Sep 29 @ 10:54 am
  • Pearl

    More like a tax DECREASE Rick. By not expanding the state has lost approximately $520 million a month in federal funding. It has hurt our citizens and our health care systems. Not expanding cost our health and kept our premiums higher in North Carolinians. Do some research before repeating FOX news.

    Friday, Sep 29 @ 5:01 pm
  • Nosey OBXer

    Finally! This is good news for our community and state.

    Friday, Sep 29 @ 7:14 pm
  • Freenusa

    Pearl, you may have a point. NC will be in hook, line and sinker then the Fed will stop funding and we the NC tax payers will pay the tab. After these recipients get the “right to healthcare” who will take it away? The most probable answer is, No one.

    Friday, Sep 29 @ 8:53 pm
  • MichaelP

    Freenusa, you say “right to health care” like that’s a bad thing?

    Saturday, Sep 30 @ 6:38 am
  • Sandflea

    Spot on. Several studies have shown that watching the Fox channel actually makes you more stupid.
    Sounds like you’re against people having a “right to healthcare”. Nice!
    You do know that when people who can’t afford to go to the doctor, they go to the Er, which is exponentially more expensive. They don’t pay their bill there leaving the hospitals unpaid. So they raise their rates to offset their losses, which are passed on to us and the insurance companies… rinse and repeat. Check out the Google Machine in your cell phones. It’s pretty cool! It has lots of information; and you can actually learn stuff.

    Saturday, Sep 30 @ 7:05 am
  • Mark Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

    Flea, a warning about straying from the topic of the story to make sweeping generalizations or critiques of people you don’t agree with. (i.e. the Fox News Channel line) I just deleted a post that started off talking about the Room in the Inn and the homeless and ended up attacking Socialist-Marxist pedophile groomers in our schools. The Voice comment page will not turn into a cable news debate. Let’s keep on topic and avoid the sweeping insults.

    Saturday, Sep 30 @ 9:33 am
  • RicknKDH

    Just to be clear, I’m not against helping people. Federal funding is our tax dollars, the money has to come from somewhere.

    Saturday, Sep 30 @ 8:45 am
  • Pearl

    That is the party line the wealthy want you to believe so they do not have to pay taxes. The ACA has been helping states for 13 years.
    We lost all that money and paid higher premiums because the rich want the working class to demonize anyone who needs assistance.
    The average amount paid for someone on assistance is $7000 a year and the average length of assistance is 2 years. Those in need of help are not the drain on our economy. It is the wealthy corporations and billionaires who pay NO TAXES. That is who should be demonized. If they paid taxes there would be no deficit and health care would be available to all!!!!

    Saturday, Sep 30 @ 8:50 am
  • james

    What is wrong with a “right to healthcare”. Do you not think it is a right or do you think it should be like buying a car? If you have a catastrophic health event do you think you should go bankrupt because you can’t afford a $250,000 surgery or just lie in bed and die? A CEO at a major corporation makes $200 million a year from tax breaks, subsidies, and everything under the sun and is waiting with a bucket to collect all the cash after he finishes his round of golf for the day. What about the tax payers being on the hook for billions of dollars in tax breaks to provide 25 jobs at $15 an hour to a company while the CEO makes 1000 times this salary and is on the golf course most of the time? Why has the public been brainwashed into thinking it is OK for the RICH to pay ZERO taxes and stash all their money in offshore bank accounts, but god forbid we expand health care coverage for the average citizens so they don’t go bankrupt from a simple medical event that strikes out of the blue. It is called socialism when it comes to the average citizen or the poor, but it is a tax break for the rich. They have done one hell of a job brainwashing people into buying this narrative I will give them that. Why do you think corporate America fought tooth and nail against universal health care? I suggest they did so because they know you are slave and can’t leave as long as they control of your health care. Think about it. If you have a wife and 2 kids with 1 of your children has a major medical condition how on Earth can you leave your job and lose you medical care. You can’t and this is their point because they know you are trapped with no possible way out except thought complete bankruptcy and homelessness. I guess you could say they have you by the balls.

    Saturday, Sep 30 @ 9:09 am
  • Lemonshirt

    Long overdue. But even after all these years, I know a lot of hard-working people who are currently without any health insurance and who refuse to consider what the Affordable Care Act offers.

    Saturday, Sep 30 @ 12:13 pm
  • Annabelle

    Many European countries have free healthcare, college tuition, low cost transportation (very modern and ubiquitous) and longer vacation time, maternity and paternity leave, etc. Yes, taxes are high but the citizenry benefits. Folks are healthier and happier. Is it socialism? Sure but why is that a dirty word? We can all hit on hard times and over there you won’t lose the roof over your head because you’re sick. The rich and powerful Republicans both execs and pols don’t want you thinking this way. Take out your Google machine and see the disparity in income here vs. Sweden or the Netherlands as two examples. Their populations are cited as being in the top of happiest countries in the world and it’s not because of low taxes. And the richer folks pay their fair share.

    Saturday, Sep 30 @ 4:17 pm
  • ExpansionConcerns

    Annabelle, the countries you mention have a much HIGHER a tax rate than we do. Nothing is free. Free Healthcare isn’t what you assume it is, it is the healthcare that the government sees fit for you to have. If socialized medicine is go great, why are people dying while waiting for treatment? Coming to America for treatment? A perfect example of government healthcare is the VA. An Epic Fail!!!
    Yes, whoop whoop. Medicaid expansion has passed. This means that the state is dependent on the Feds for financing. Since when has this EVER been successful? Just ask anyone that wants to travel through Oregan Inlet. The feds have never lived up to their end of the bargain.
    Let’s be honest here, Rural Healthcare is in crisis. Has been in Crisis. It has ZERO to do with Medicaid expansion. It has everything to do with BIG HOSPITAL MONOPOLIES that controls everything. Get rid of the CON Laws and practices and services will open. Stop saying that this is a Dem or Rep issue. It’s a no nonsense human issue.
    BTW: a right to healthcare is not in the US or NC Constitution.

    Monday, Oct 2 @ 11:16 am
  • Freenusa

    Bankruptcies because of medical expenses, there use to be a solution. It was called major medical insurance. It covered major medical expenses over a certain $ amount. Safeguarding against bankruptcy for unforeseen medical expenses, it was relatively inexpensive. Those policies were obsolete, long before the ACA(obamacare), went into effect. Looking back, that was just setting Americans up for medical bankruptcy. The insurance/medical relationship is totally corrupt, in my opinion.

    Monday, Oct 2 @ 8:42 pm