Guilford County has been preparing all year to serve a whole new group of Medicaid enrollees, and Friday, Dec. 1 is the big day.

Guilford County, like counties around the state, has been making plans to handle the expansion of Medicaid services that was approved by state legislature and signed into law earlier this year.  It will mean an estimated 33,000 Guilford County residents are among the more than 600,000 people across the state who are newly eligible for health care coverage under the expanded plan.

Previously, about 163,000 Guilford County residents were receiving Medicaid. As of the start of December, the number of those eligible will be closer to 200,000.

Chairman of the Guilford County Board of County Commissioners Skip Alston said on Thursday, Nov. 30 that the move will not only help working families in the county handle health care costs better, it will also broaden access to services like mental health care.

Alston emphasized that Guilford County had already taken the necessary steps to address the increase in Medicaid beneficiaries.

“The county stands ready to support all those newly eligible with Medicaid enrollment to ensure they have timely access to affordable and high-quality care,” Alston said.

Guilford County government – especially the social services division employees – have been working hard, and fast, all year long in anticipation of this moment.

 In the summer of 2023, the Guilford County Health and Human Services Department expanded the Division of Social Services by creating the Division of Medicaid.

That newly formed Medicaid division is led by Erica Reeves, who’s been a Guilford County DSS (GCDSS) employee for eight years.

The new division has also now hired a program manager, 5 supervisors, 6 lead eligibility caseworkers, and has been training and onboarding 30 new caseworkers to help process Medicaid eligibility, with 11 more caseworker hires expected in the future.