How to Apply for Medicaid in North Carolina?

Discover the simple steps to apply for Medicaid in North Carolina. Get the coverage you need for a healthier future.

Understanding NC Medicaid

NC Medicaid is a program that provides health coverage to eligible low-income individuals and families in North Carolina. It is administered by the state in accordance with federal requirements and is funded jointly by the state and federal government. The program offers essential health care services to various groups, including low-income adults, children, pregnant women, elderly adults, and people with disabilities.

Eligibility for NC Medicaid

Eligibility for NC Medicaid is based on several factors, including income, household size, and specific circumstances. The program aims to provide health care coverage to those who need it most. To determine eligibility, individuals and families must meet certain criteria, including residency and citizenship requirements. Non-U.S. citizens can also apply for NC Medicaid, as long as they meet the necessary qualifications [2].

Benefits of NC Medicaid

NC Medicaid offers a range of benefits to eligible individuals and families. The program provides access to essential health care services, ensuring that beneficiaries receive the care they need. Benefits under NC Medicaid include:

  • Regular check-ups and preventive care
  • Doctor visits and specialist services
  • Hospital stays and emergency care
  • Prescription medications
  • Laboratory tests and X-rays
  • Dental services for children
  • Vision and hearing services

The exact benefits and coverage may vary depending on the specific Medicaid program and individual circumstances. However, NC Medicaid strives to provide comprehensive health care coverage to those who qualify, helping to improve access to vital medical services.

Understanding the eligibility requirements and the benefits of NC Medicaid is essential for those seeking access to affordable health care. By exploring the application process and understanding the specific programs available, individuals can take the necessary steps to apply for and receive the health care coverage they need in North Carolina.

How to Apply for NC Medicaid

If you reside in North Carolina and are interested in applying for Medicaid, there are several methods available to you. The application process can be completed online, through, or in person at your local Department of Social Services (DSS) office.

Online Application Process

To apply for NC Medicaid online, you can visit the NC Medicaid Beneficiary Portal for more information on the application process. One of the online options is to apply through a secure website called ePASS, where it is referred to as "Medical Assistance." To get started, you will need an NCID, which is a secure online user ID and password for accessing various North Carolina government programs, including NC Medicaid [4].

Applying Through

If you prefer, you can also apply for NC Medicaid through provides an online platform for individuals to apply for various health insurance programs, including Medicaid. By visiting their website, you can find the necessary information and guidelines to complete your application.

In-Person Application

For those who prefer a more personal approach or do not have access to the internet, applying for Medicaid in person is an option. You can visit your local Department of Social Services (DSS) office to apply. Walk-ins are generally welcome, but it is advisable to call ahead and schedule an in-person or phone interview. If you need assistance in locating your local DSS office, you can use a directory or contact the NC Medicaid Contact Center at 1-888-245-0179 for further guidance.

Another option for applying in person is to do so over the phone. You can call your local Department of Social Services (DSS) office to initiate the application process. Contact information for your local DSS office can be found in a directory or by calling the NC Medicaid Contact Center at 1-888-245-0179.

By utilizing one of these application methods, you can take the necessary steps to apply for NC Medicaid. It's important to gather all the required documents and information before starting your application to ensure a smooth and efficient process.

Application Requirements

When applying for North Carolina Medicaid, there are specific requirements that individuals must meet to be eligible for the program. These requirements include residency and citizenship criteria, income and household size factors, as well as special coverage eligibility.

Residency and Citizenship Criteria

To qualify for North Carolina Medicaid, applicants must be residents of North Carolina and meet certain citizenship requirements. This means that they must be U.S. nationals, citizens, permanent residents, or legal aliens. Non-U.S. citizens who are members of families applying for Medicaid can also apply for coverage.

Income and Household Size Factors

Income and household size play a crucial role in determining eligibility for North Carolina Medicaid. The program is designed to provide health care assistance to individuals with low income or very low income. The household's annual income, before taxes, should be below specific amounts based on the number of people in the household. There are adjustments for households with more than eight people.

The income eligibility thresholds are subject to change, so it's important to refer to the official sources for the most up-to-date information. The table below provides a general overview of the income limits based on household size:


Special Coverage Eligibility

In addition to the standard eligibility criteria, North Carolina Medicaid also offers special coverage for individuals with specific health needs. These individuals may have unique circumstances that qualify them for additional benefits and services. Eligibility for special coverage is determined through the application process, and caseworkers review applications to assess available options and potential qualifications based on deductions.

It's important to note that even if one person in a family is ineligible for Medicaid, other family members may still qualify. The eligibility criteria can vary based on family size, and special circumstances may be taken into consideration. To determine eligibility for special coverage or to explore other options, it is recommended to complete an application and consult with caseworkers who can provide guidance based on individual circumstances.

Understanding the application requirements for North Carolina Medicaid is essential for individuals seeking health care assistance. By meeting the residency and citizenship criteria, considering income and household size factors, and exploring potential special coverage eligibility, applicants can navigate the application process more effectively and improve their chances of receiving the necessary health care support.

NC Medicaid Approval Process

Once you have submitted your application for NC Medicaid, the Department of Social Services (DSS) will review it to determine your eligibility. It's important to understand the timeline for application review and how you will be notified of your eligibility status.

Timeline for Application Review

After submitting your application for NC Medicaid, it may take up to 45 days for the DSS to determine your eligibility. However, in cases of disability applications, the process may take up to 90 days [4]. It's important to note that these timeframes are approximate and can vary based on the complexity of your application and the volume of applications being processed.

During the review process, the DSS will carefully assess the information provided in your application, including your income, household size, and any special coverage eligibility factors. They may also verify the information through additional documentation or by contacting you for further details.

Notification of Eligibility

Once a decision is made regarding your application, you will receive notification by mail. The letter will inform you whether you have been approved or denied for NC Medicaid [4]. It's important to ensure that your mailing address is accurate and up to date to ensure timely receipt of this important communication.

If your application is approved, the notification letter will include details about the coverage you are eligible for under NC Medicaid. It's crucial to review this information carefully to understand the benefits and services you can access.

In case your application is denied, the notification letter will provide information on the reasons for the denial. If you believe there has been an error or you have additional information to support your eligibility, you may have the option to appeal the decision. The notification letter will outline the steps to follow for the appeal process.

Remember, the approval process for NC Medicaid may take some time, and it's important to be patient during this period. If you have not received a notification within the expected timeframe, you can contact the DSS to inquire about the status of your application.

Understanding the timeline for application review and the process for receiving eligibility notification will help you navigate the NC Medicaid application process with confidence. Be sure to check your mailbox regularly for updates, and if you have any questions or concerns, reach out to the appropriate authorities for assistance.

Additional Assistance Options

In the process of applying for NC Medicaid, individuals may require additional assistance and support. North Carolina offers various resources to help applicants navigate through the application process and ensure that they receive the necessary guidance.

NC Navigator Consortium

For free advice about health insurance and application assistance, individuals can turn to the NC Navigator Consortium. This consortium provides valuable support and guidance to individuals seeking help with applying for NC Medicaid. They can provide information about eligibility requirements, documentation needed, and answer any questions applicants may have. The NC Navigator Consortium aims to make the application process more accessible and help individuals understand their options for health insurance coverage.

Interpreter Services

To facilitate the application process for non-English speakers, interpreter services are available. These services ensure that language barriers do not hinder individuals from applying for NC Medicaid. By providing interpretation assistance, applicants can effectively communicate their needs and understand the requirements and instructions throughout the application process. This is an important aspect of ensuring equal access to healthcare coverage for all individuals, regardless of their primary language.

By utilizing the assistance options provided by the NC Navigator Consortium and interpreter services, individuals can receive the necessary support and guidance during the NC Medicaid application process. These resources aim to make the process more accessible and help individuals navigate through the requirements to ensure they receive the healthcare coverage they need.

NC Medicaid Programs

Under the North Carolina Medicaid program, eligible individuals can access a range of healthcare coverage options. These programs aim to provide free or low-cost health coverage to those who meet the eligibility criteria. Let's explore the coverage details and specific programs available under NC Medicaid.

Coverage Details

North Carolina Medicaid covers over 1 million people in the state, including children, the aged, blind, disabled individuals, and those eligible to receive federally assisted income maintenance payments. The program provides health coverage to eligible low-income adults, children, pregnant women, elderly adults, and people with disabilities.

Some of the demographics covered by NC Medicaid include:

  • Elderly or disabled individuals
  • Children and their parents
  • Persons needing long-term care
  • Some Medicare recipients (

Through Medicaid, eligible individuals gain access to a wide range of healthcare services, including:

  • Doctor visits
  • Hospital stays
  • Prescription medications
  • Preventive care
  • Maternity care
  • Mental health services
  • Dental and vision care
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Home and community-based services (

Specific Programs under NC Medicaid

The North Carolina Medicaid program offers various specific programs to cater to different healthcare needs. Here are some notable programs available:

  1. Baby Love: This program focuses on prenatal and infant health care, providing comprehensive services to pregnant women and infants.
  2. Health Check: Health Check program ensures that children up to the age of 21 receive necessary healthcare services, including preventive care, screenings, and treatment.
  3. Carolina ACCESS: Carolina ACCESS is a managed care program that provides coordinated healthcare services to individuals in need.
  4. Community Alternatives Program (CAP): CAP offers home and community care as a cost-effective alternative to institutionalization for eligible individuals.

These are just a few examples of the specific programs available under NC Medicaid. Each program is designed to address the unique healthcare needs of different populations, ensuring that eligible individuals receive the necessary care and support.

By understanding the coverage details and specific programs offered under NC Medicaid, individuals can explore the available options and determine their eligibility for the program. Applying for NC Medicaid opens the door to accessible and affordable healthcare services for those who qualify.