Rural providers especially excited about NC Medicaid expansion: ‘They have a chance now’

  • Date: 11/20/2023

In rural parts of the state, patients often struggle to simply get to a doctor's office. It's something Irena Johnson, a community health worker in Ahoskie — a small community in northeastern North Carolina — knows firsthand. She helps run a mobile health clinic.

"The thing that stands out to me the most is transportation," Johnson said. "We have a lot of patients that lack transportation, so they can't get into the doctor's office. So, we are able to go out to them."

Medicaid covers the cost for certain transportation, including medical transport. That has providers in rural areas particularly excited about Medicaid expansion, which North Carolina legislators passed — and Gov. Roy Cooper signed — into law earlier this year. The move will bring health insurance to some 600,000 low-income North Carolinians beginning Dec. 1.

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