From the budget bill:
Merging the NC Health Choice program (also known as CHIP) with NC Medicaid. After more than two decades of advocacy, this policy change was included in the 2022 budget bill. This will reduce administrative duplication, and ensure continuous, quality coverage for more than 100,000 NC children – particularly those with special health care needs.
Improving child care subsidy reimbursement rates. Legislators did temporarily increase the reimbursement rates to the 2018 market rate survey county rates (the most recent survey available) in the 2022 budget bill via a reallocation of federal ARPA relief funds. However, advocates are still pushing for the creation of a statewide rate floor for child care subsidy, which would more equitably support providers across the state, particularly in rural counties.
Increasing NC Pre-K rates. Legislators appropriated an additional $9M in recurring funds in the budget to increase the NC Pre-K rate by 7% in FY 2023, for a total rate increase of 9% since the 2020-21 fiscal year. The appropriation intends to support NC Pre-K teacher salaries in private program settings and also includes funds specifically designated to support NC Pre-K classrooms in public school and Head Start settings.
North Carolina has yet to close the coverage gap by expanding the NC Medicaid program. Medicaid expansion would bring affordable, quality health care access to approximately 500,000 residents—at least 1/4 of whom are parents with children at home. However for the first time ever, both the House and the Senate passed Medicaid expansion bills during the 2022 session. The two chambers have not yet found a way to reconcile differences but advocates remain hopeful that Medicaid expansion is in North Carolina’s future.