By now, just about everyone in the state knows that North Carolina is moving to expanded Medicaid services on Friday, Dec. 1, when a lot more state residents will qualify for the program.
However, there are still a whole lot of questions regarding the details of the process, and those who fall in the category of the more than 30,000 newly eligible Medicaid beneficiaries in Guilford County need to know a few things.
First of all, Guilford County is encouraging residents to review the eligibility criteria and, if you qualify, start the application process right away.
Most people living in Guilford County – and across North Carolina as well – are eligible to get health care coverage through Medicaid if they are:
• A US citizen
• 19 to 64 years of age
• Have an income of up to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level – which means an annual income of $20,120 or less for single adults and roughly $34,000 for a family of three.
In addition to US citizens, some non-US citizens may also be eligible for Medicaid benefits.
North Carolina residents can start the application process today. To do so, apply online at ePASS.nc.gov, or in person at one of the county’s two Division of Social Services offices. There’s one in Greensboro – the well-known “Maple Street building” – at 1203 Maple St., and another at 325 E Russell Ave. in High Point.
The Greensboro office can be reached by phone at 336-641-3000 and the High Point office at 336-641-3000.
Applications can also be sent in by snail mail. Call the county for mailing addresses if you wish to apply that way.
Some of the documents needed to determine eligibility include a birth certificate, a social security card and proof of income. Eligibility caseworkers are already available to assist applicants with questions and provide additional information needed to submit an application.
Note that it could take up to 45 days after applying for someone to learn if they’re eligible for Medicaid.
If an application is incomplete, or more information is needed, a social services worker will contact the applicant to get the additional information.
There’s also automatic enrollment for some Family Planning participants who are already receiving services from the Division of Social Services. In Guilford County, for instance, about 13,000 people currently enrolled in Medicaid’s limited Family Planning program are eligible for expanded Medicaid and have been automatically enrolled. They will receive a new Medicaid ID card if they haven’t already.
Across the state, a total of about 300,000 North Carolina residents who are part of the limited Family Planning program will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services began notifying eligible limited Family Planning participants in early November via email, phone and text messages.
Guilford County officials are encouraging applicants to apply online at ePASS.nc.gov and they warn that, due to the high volume of applications expected, processing times may take longer than usual, but they add that social services staff will be working hard to process all applications as fast as possible.