Hundreds of thousands in North Carolina will be added to Medicaid rolls this week

A decade after the federal government began offering expanded Medicaid coverage in states that opted to accept it, hundreds of thousands of adults in North Carolina are set to receive benefits, a development that boosters say will aid hospitals and local economies in addition to the long-term uninsured.

North Carolina elected officials agreed this year to expand Medicaid, which will provide the government-funded health insurance to adults ages 19 to 64 who make too much money to receive traditional Medicaid but generally not enough to benefit from public subsidies available for private health insurance. The federal government will pay 90% of the cost, as stipulated under the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

More than 600,000 North Carolinians are ultimately expected to qualify, with roughly half to be automatically enrolled as of Friday. That means they’ll be able to get annual checkups, prescription drugs and other services with little or no out-of-pocket expenses.

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