By now, those who receive Medicaid are surely aware that the program is changing. North Carolina is going to a managed care plan, and those who get Medicaid have to choose one of several health plans in the Managed Care program by Friday May 14th. If you don't make a choice, you'll be automatically enrolled in one of the plans. The plan the state chooses for you will remain in effect unless you opt to change it by September 30, 2021.
There are five health plan providers approved for counties in our area. Chances are you may already have made your choice, but if not--especially if you have questions about the plans--events this Saturday may help.
The Lincoln County Dept. of Social Services will hold a question and answer session at the local DSS office Saturday from 10 AM - 2 PM.
In Catawba County, the Catawba County Library and Catawba County Social Services will host an information fair Saturday from 10 - 2 in the lower parking lot of the Main Library at 115 West C Street in Newton; and in Gaston County, Kintegra Health will host an information fair at the Rotary Pavilion in downtown Gastonia. One added benefit at that Gaston County event: those who haven't et got vaccinated against COVID and get the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the event which will be from 11 AM - 2 PM.
For anyone who isn't familiar, a health plan is a group of doctors, hospitals, and other providers who work together to provide a person’s health care. Going forward, the services a Medicaid recipient needs will come from the same health plan, including physical health, behavioral health, and medicine. So, recipients are encouraged to speak with representatives from the five plans to learn more about what each one has available. While all health plans will offer the same basic benefits and services, some may provide added services that better fit a family’s particular needs.
Representatives from all five health plans available in our area: AmeriHealth Caritas, Carolina Complete Health, Healthy Blue, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan, and WellCare, will be on hand at all three of these events on Saturday.
Along with details about health plans, representatives at the information fairs can share information about which primary care providers they work with – an important consideration for people who would like to keep their current doctor, clinic, or other health care provider as their primary care provider. Representatives can also provide guidance about the four options available for enrolling in a health care plan: visiting ncmedicaidplans.gov, using the NC Medicaid Managed Care mobile app, calling toll free at 1-833-870-5500, or completing an enrollment form you receive and mailing or faxing it back.
Although Medicaid recipients are being asked to choose a new plan, the eligibility criteria for Medicaid has not changed, and the various county Social Services departments will continue to determine eligibility.