AN ACT TO ESTABLISH THE FAMILY MEDICINE IN RURAL OR MEDICALLY UNDERSERVED AREAS FORGIVABLE LOAN PILOT PROGRAM AND TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS FOR THAT PURPOSE.
Establishes the Family Medicine in Rural or Medically Underserved Areas Forgivable Loan Pilot Program (program), administered by the State Education Assistance Authority (Authority) to provide forgivable loans to eligible medical students who agree to practice primary care medicine on a full-time basis in a rural or medically underserved area, as designated by the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Rural Health (Department). Limits eligibility to medical students who are NC residents, enrolled in an eligible medical school, including only a postsecondary UNC constituent institution or an eligible private postsecondary institution under GS 116-280(3), in the 2023-24 academic year as a first-year student. Requires the Authority to establish eligibility criteria as specified, and authorizes the use of a lottery process. Details terms and conditions of loans provided under the program, including capping the interest rate at 10%, and capping the loan forgiveness amount at $25,000 for each year the recipient works as a full-time licensed physician in the required setting, up to $100,000. Authorizes the Authority to adopt necessary rules. Requires the Department to establish an advisory board. Requires the Authority to consult with the Department to establish procedures relating to services for loan recipients as described. Directs the Authority to annually report to the specified NCGA committee on the program.
Appropriates $1.4 million from the General Fund to the UNC Board of Governors for 2022-23 to be allocated to the Authority to provide loans under the program to up to 12 eligible medical students. Provides that the funds remain available, except for repayment funds received by the Authority. Authorizes the Authority to use up to $200,000 to administer the program.
Effective July 1, 2022.