Catawba Valley Healthcare is an independent, comprehensive, non-profit healthcare organization that offers a wide range of whole-person healthcare and services that integrate physical and mental health.

As of December 1, 2023, more North Carolinians are eligible to get health coverage through NC Medicaid because Medicaid now covers people aged 19 through 64 with higher incomes than before.

If you currently have full Medicaid coverage, nothing will change for you.

This Medicaid expansion is for people who currently have limited benefits or who were not previously eligible for full Medicaid.

If you are currently on a limited benefit program, then you might be eligible for full Medicaid coverage.

Read the information below to learn about your eligibility. We have provided both the English and Spanish versions.

Catawba Valley Healthcare serves patients with Medicaid, Partners & VAYA, prepaid Health plans, and those without health insurance.

We would be delighted to be your healthcare home. Click on our homepage to learn about all of our services and our whole-person approach to healthcare.

NC Medicaid Expansion FAQS


When will more people be able to get health coverage through NC Medicaid?

Beginning December 1, 2023, more North Carolinians will be able to get health coverage through NC Medicaid.

What is Medicaid expansion and how will it affect my current services?

Medicaid expansion will allow more North Carolinians to get health coverage through NC Medicaid. It will cover people aged 19 through 64 years with higher incomes. Many North Carolinians who did not qualify for health coverage through Medicaid before, may soon qualify. If you currently have full Medicaid coverage, nothing will change for you.

Medicaid expansion is for people who have limited benefits or who were not previously eligible for full Medicaid. If you are currently on a limited benefit program, then you might receive full Medicaid. If you qualify for Medicaid expansion, you will receive a letter explaining the coverage. If you have full Medicaid, your services will not change.

How do I apply for Medicaid under Medicaid expansion?

You can apply for Medicaid at any time, but the new eligibility requirements will take effect on December 1, 2023.

The best way is to apply online through ePASS – a secure, self-service website at When you apply online, you can avoid having to go in person to your local Department of Social Services (DSS) office. It’s also faster and you can access the site at any time.

If you can’t apply online, you can apply in person at your local DSS office, by calling your local DSS office or by mailing in a paper application available at To find your local DSS office, go to

Coverage & Costs

Who can get health coverage through Medicaid under the new rules?

Most people can get health care coverage through NC Medicaid if they meet the criteria below. If you were eligible before, you still are. Eligibility criteria:

  • You live in North Carolina
  • Age 19 through 64
  • You are a citizen (some non-U.S. citizens can get health coverage through NC Medicaid)
  • If your household income fits within the chart below:

Household Size

Annual Income

Single Adults $20,120 or less
Family of 2 $27,214 or less
Family of 3 $34,307 or less
Family of 4 $41,400 or less
Family of 5 $48,493 or less
Family of 6 $55,586 or less
If I already have Medicaid coverage how will these new rules affect my benefits?

If you currently have full Medicaid coverage, nothing will change for you.

How long will it take to find out if I’m eligible for Medicaid once I apply?

It may take up to 45 days after you apply. Incomplete applications take longer. If your application is incomplete or we need more information, you will hear from your local DSS office requesting additional information. You may be contacted by mail, phone, email and/or text message, so it is important to make sure your contact information is up to date and complete to make sure that your caseworker can reach you.

Are non-US citizens eligible?

Some non-US citizens are eligible for Medicaid. Some non-US citizens with documents must wait a period of five years before they are eligible for Medicaid coverage. Residents without documents are not eligible for Medicaid unless they have an emergency condition as defined under federal law.

What health services will North Carolina cover?

Health coverage through Medicaid is comprehensive. Because these services are covered by Medicaid, they are provided at no cost or low cost to you. Services include, but are not limited to:

  • Primary care so you go to a doctor for a check-up or when you are not feeling well
  • Hospital services when you need to stay overnight (inpatient) or when can go home the same day (outpatient)
  • Maternity and postpartum care if you are pregnant and after giving birth
  • Vision and hearing services
  • Prescription drug benefits
  • Behavioral health services
  • Dental and oral health services
  • Medical-related devices and other therapies
Under the new rules, how much will people pay in monthly premiums and copays?

You do not have to pay any monthly premiums. Medicaid pays for the cost for most health care services. The highest copay is $4 and that is only required on some visits.

What are the differences between Medicaid expansion coverage and getting coverage through Standard Plan, Tailored Plan, Tribal Option or Medicaid Direct members? Does anything change under these new rules?

Everyone who qualifies under the new rules will get their health coverage through a Standard Plan, NC Medicaid Direct, Tribal Option, or through Tailored Plans in the future, depending upon their individual needs, just like other Medicaid beneficiaries.

Can I have Medicare and receive Medicaid expansion?

No. Some people who have Medicare coverage may be eligible for other existing Medicaid programs. For example, people who are disabled and are age 64 and under may be eligible for Medicaid through disability coverage.

Are there other insurance options if I still do not qualify for Medicaid under the new rules?

Yes. You may qualify for subsidized health coverage offered on Contact a North Carolina health insurance navigator for enrollment assistance. Community health centers also provide low-cost care through a sliding scale based on one’s income and insurance status.

Will anyone be automatically enrolled in Medicaid under the new rules?

Yes, people already enrolled in Medicaid’s limited Family Planning program who are eligible will be automatically moved to full Medicaid expansion benefits. Those who are eligible for full Medicaid benefits will receive communication in the mail from the state informing them that they enrolled in full Medicaid benefits and a new Medicaid insurance card that they can use to access health care services.

If I am currently receiving Family Planning benefits, what happens for me on December 1, 2023?

If eligible for full Medicaid benefits, you will receive a letter in the mail from the state informing you that you were enrolled in full Medicaid benefits and a new Medicaid insurance card that you can use to access health care services.

If I am automatically enrolled for full benefits, will I receive a new Medicaid card in the mail?

You will get a letter from your local DSS letting you know that you will start getting full Medicaid coverage. You will then be assigned a health plan. If you want to change your health plan, you have 90 days to pick a new one. Your health plan will send you a packet in the mail. It will include a new Medicaid ID card. Your ID card also has the name of your primary care doctor. You can change your doctor through your health plan.

I have Family Planning benefits, but I was not auto-enrolled. Why not?

You may have income that exceeds the Medicaid eligibility levels, if your income has recently changed and you believe you may be eligible, update your information by updating your contact information in ePASS or contacting your local DSS.

Expansion Benefits

How is North Carolina changing the rules about who is eligible for Medicaid?

Federal law allows states to expand who can get health coverage through Medicaid, known as Medicaid expansion. Since 2014, 40 states and Washington, DC have expanded Medicaid.

Why expand Medicaid?

Research shows that expanding Medicaid coverage increases access to health care, improves health outcomes, creates jobs, and strengthens the economy. It means that people with low incomes can work, earn more and keep themselves healthy. Expansion is also good for the state. Other states that have expanded Medicaid have increased state revenues, created jobs, and saved state funding. It also has helped prevent rural hospitals from closing. Most people who qualify for Medicaid under these new rules are working adults in important service industries across the state. Keeping them healthy keeps them on the job.


Will North Carolinians who already have insurance benefit from expansion?

Everyone benefits when more people have access to affordable health care and can live healthier lives. Taxpayers will also benefit because federal funds will help the state cover more people, keep our health systems strong and reduce the cost of care.

Will expansion help improve access to mental health services or substance use disorders treatment?

Yes. In states that have expanded Medicaid, suicide rates decreased and access to substance use disorder treatment increased. About two million North Carolinians will experience a mental illness and substance use disorder. In 2019, more than 55% of people who needed treatment did not receive it because of cost. Untreated mental illness can lead to homelessness, involvement in the justice system, and trauma to children.

How can workers without health insurance benefit from these new rules from expanding access to Medicaid?

Many hard-working people can finally afford to take care of their health while providing for their families. Most of those who don’t have insurance are working people with low incomes in important service industries and small businesses. By raising income limits so more people are eligible for Medicaid, more people can work without losing their healthcare coverage. Medicaid expansion also helps more people with disabilities enter the workforce because without it, many people with disabilities must live in poverty to maintain their Medicaid eligibility.

Medicaid expansion can build a healthier workforce for businesses like childcare, restaurants and the service industry by helping more employees have access to affordable health insurance.

How can I get more information about Medicaid expansion and Benefits?

For more information, visit You may also call Partners Health Management at 1-888-235-4673.