How To Apply for NC Medicaid

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Review the eligibility guidelines. If you are not sure if you are eligible, we suggest you apply anyway.

There are many ways to apply. You can apply online, by phone, email, mail, fax, or in person. See below for more details.

You can apply at any time of the year. It can take up to 45 calendar days (or up to 90 calendar days for disability applications) for your local Department of Social Services (DSS) to make a decision on your application. It can take longer if your application is missing information.

Do not wait — apply now. You may be eligible for Medicaid health care coverage for the last 3 months of medical bills starting from the date you apply.

Free help is available. If you do not speak English well, call your local DSS and ask the operator for an interpreter. If you have a disability and need communication assistance, call the NC Medicaid Contact Center 1-888-245-0179 (TTY: 711 or RelayNC.com).

 

What you may need to apply

You must provide the following:

  • Full legal name and date of birth, for at least one person applying
  • Mailing address, for at least one person applying
  • Your signature (digital, voice, or written depending on how you apply)

You can save time if you also give the following information:

  • Identity documents, such as driver’s license or school ID
  • Social Security number (SSN) for people applying who have them, or proof they have applied for one
  • Immigration documents for non-U.S. citizens who are applying
  • Proof you live in North Carolina, such as a photo ID with your address, a utility bill, a lease, or documentation of employment
  • Employer and income information for you and everyone in your household, such as paystubs, W-2 forms, tax returns or business records
  • Copies of all medical or life insurance policies
  • List of all cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, etc. you or anyone in your household own, including the year, make, model and vehicle identification number (VIN) for each item
  • Most recent bank statements
  • List of all real property you own (this includes land, homes and buildings)
  • Current financial statements/award letters from other sources of income, such as Social Security, retirement benefits, pensions, veterans benefits and child support

You can apply with an application that is missing information and add it later. However, giving as much information as possible may help you get a decision faster. Your local DSS office will contact you if they need more information.

Your information will not be used for immigration enforcement. We only use personal information to check if you are eligible. 

 

Four ways to apply

Tab/Accordion Items

Apply online through our secure website, ePASS. On the application, NC Medicaid is referred to as “Medical Assistance.” You may also apply through healthcare.gov.  

 Apply Online Through ePASS

You need an NCID to log into ePASS. An NCID is a secure online user ID and password you set up to get access to many North Carolina government programs, including NC Medicaid. If you do not have an NCID, follow the on-screen instructions to create your account. 

Need help getting started with ePASS? Watch this video, or check out this step-by-step guide

Apply in person at your local Department of Social Services (DSS). Use our DSS directory or call the NC Medicaid Contact Center at 1-888-245-0179 to find the location closest to you.

Walk-ins are available at all local DSS. You can also schedule an in-person or phone interview (recommended).

You can complete an application at your local DSS. Or you can fill out a printable application (DMA-5200) ahead of time. If you are a single adult without health care coverage from your employer, use the “short form” application (DMA-5201). 

Call your local Department of Social Services (DSS) to apply over the phone.

Use our DSS directory or call the NC Medicaid Contact Center at 1-888-245-0179 to find the location closest to you. 

Download and fill out a printable application (DMA-5200, called the “Application for Health Coverage & Help Paying Costs”). If you are a single adult without health care coverage from an employer, use the “short form” application (DMA-5201).

Remember, you must sign your application.

Then mail, email, fax or bring your application to your local Department of Social Services (DSS). Use our DSS directory or call the NC Medicaid Contact Center at 1-888-245-0179 to find the location closest to you.

Other forms may be needed, depending on your situation. These are listed at the bottom of this page. 

After you apply

It can take up to 45 days for DSS to decide if you qualify for NC Medicaid. Disability applications can take up to 90 days.

We may contact you to ask for more information. Be sure your address and phone number are correct and be sure to respond to mail or phone calls from your local Department of Social Services.

If you are approved, you will get a letter in the mail. If you did not choose a health plan on your application, you will be assigned one. If you need to change your health plan, contact the NC Medicaid Enrollment Broker at 1-833-870-5500  (TTY: 711 or RelayNC.com) or visit ncmedicaidplans.gov.

When you are assigned a health plan, you can also choose a primary care provider (PCP) or you will be assigned one. Your PCP is a doctor, nurse practitioner or other provider that will see you when you need care. Learn more at ncmedicaidplans.gov/find.

Need help applying?

Make a free appointment with NC Navigator Consortium online or call 1-855-733-3711They can help you apply for NC Medicaid.

Or call your local Department of Social Services (DSS). Use our DSS directory or call the NC Medicaid Contact Center at 1-888-245-0179 to find the location closest to you. Help is available in other languages. 

Tab/Accordion Items

Use this application (DMA-5200) to apply for NC Medicaid by mail, email, fax or in person.

If you are a single adult with no dependents or health care coverage from your employer, use the “short form” application (DMA-5201).

Other forms may be needed in certain situations. You can fill out the form(s) and submit them with your application if you know they are required. Your local DSS will also let you know if you need to complete one of these forms.  

Additional Forms

Situation Form name 
Someone in your household is eligible for health coverage from a job.  Health Coverage from Jobs - Appendix A (DMA-5202-A)
You or your family members are American Indian or Alaska Native. American Indian or Alaska Native Family Member (AI/AN) - Appendix B (DMA-5202-B)
You would like to choose someone to be your authorized representative.  Designation of Authorized Representative - Appendix C (DMA-5202-C)
You want to apply for the program “NC Medicaid for the Aged, Blind, or Disabled”, long-term care or in-home services. Income/Resources - Appendix D (DMA-5202-D)  
You would like to ask for coverage for past medical bills. Medical Bills - Appendix E (DMA-5202-E)