The Affordable Care Act (sometimes called Obamacare) will require most NC residents without health insurance to obtain insurance by March 31, 2014, or pay a penalty. You may meet this requirement through existing coverage with an employer, a spouse's employer, or a private policy. You may also meet that requirement if you are covered by Medicaid, NC Health Choice, or Medicare.
If you are currently not covered by health insurance, you may find information about purchasing insurance through the Federal Healthcare Exchange, healthcare.gov or (in Spanish) CuidadoDeSalud.gov. They can also be reached by phone:
- Affordable Care Act main number: 1-800-318-2596 (TTY line: 1-855-889-4325)
- NC Centralized Appointment System: 1-855-733-3711
- Regional Certified Application Counselor: 828-754-6850, x28
Two private insurance companies, Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC, and Coventry, are providing coverage under the Federal Healthcare Exchange. More information is available from those companies' websites or local agents. Links: Blue Cross Blue Shield and Coventry Insurance
Social Services is not an official "navigator" for the Affordable Care Act, and cannot provide guidance in how to interpret information, submit applications, or discuss tax subsidies associated with the ACA Insurance Marketplace. The Catawba County Public Library is offering a series of classes explaining how the marketplace website works.
Catawba County Social Services is only involved in establishing eligibility for Medicaid and NC Health Choice, a State sponsored insurance program for children whose families meet certain income guidelines. NC has not expanded Medicaid, so the eligibility rules for that program remain the same. Medicaid for adults who meet income guidelines - and who are not blind, disabled, and/or elderly - may be limited to family planning services. For additional information about Medicaid and NC Health Choice, click here.
You may now apply for Nutrition Services (Food Stamps), Medicaid, and NC Health Choice through NC ePass. You may also apply for these programs at our office at 3030 11th Ave. Dr. SE, Hickory, NC 28602.