House Health Committee Will Hear “Rural Healthcare Access and Savings Plan”

Tomorrow, June 23, the House Health Committee will hear SB 408, the “Rural Healthcare Access and Savings Plan.”

Among other things, the bill would:

  • Establish a Legislative Medicaid Rate Modernization and Savings Oversight Committee (“Oversight Committee”).
  • Increase access to healthcare in rural areas of the State and help preserve hospitals in rural areas of North Carolina.
  • Direct the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a Medicaid Modernization and Savings Plan (“Plan”) to be presented to the Oversight Committee for a vote on December 15, 2022.
  • Give the Secretary of Health and Human Services the necessary authority to negotiate with the federal government to alter Medicaid eligibility, subject to a vote by the General Assembly, and would set certain guardrails to ensure no net cost to the state.
  • If the Oversight Committee approves the Plan presented to committee for legislative approval, legislation implementing the Plan would be voted on by the General Assembly on or after December 16, 2022.

Benefits to the State include:

  • Roughly $1.5 billion over 2 years in federal Medicaid receipts from the ARPA enhancement that will enable the State to re-direct General Fund dollars to other priorities.  $1 billion of this total would be used to address substance abuse and mental health.
  • As much as $3.1 billion in additional HASP reimbursements to support hospitals without spending additional General Fund dollars.
  • Up to $60 million in additional gross premiums tax from the HASP reimbursements would go into the General Fund.
  • An additional $4.5 – $5 billion annually in federal Medicaid receipts to support the new eligibility category.