Children in the NC Health Choice Program Moving to NC Medicaid in April

On April 1, 2023, approximately 55,000 children receiving NC Health Choice coverage will move to NC Medicaid and begin receiving additional physical and behavioral health services. This change will help save families money and increase access to care.

North Carolina currently has two similar, but different, programs that offer medical coverage for eligible children — NC Medicaid, funded through the federal Medicaid program, and NC Health Choice, funded through the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). A provision included in the North Carolina state budget, approved in July 2022, directed the NC Department of Health and Human Services to move NC Health Choice beneficiaries from the NC Health Choice program to the Medicaid program. North Carolina joins 17 other states who have combined Medicaid/CHIP programs for children.

“This is an exciting change and allows NCDHHS to provide additional benefits to children moving from NC Health Choice to Medicaid,” said Deputy Secretary for NC Medicaid, Dave Richard. “This includes assistance getting to and from medical appointments through Non-Emergency Medical Transportation services and Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment — a benefit designed to discover and treat health conditions before they become serious.”

Families with children moving from NC Health Choice to Medicaid will no longer have to pay enrollment fees or copays for medical visits and prescriptions. They will also have access to enhanced behavioral health services not previously covered by NC Health Choice. People with NC Health Choice do not need to do anything to move to the Medicaid program. The move is automatic and will be effective April 1, 2023.

People impacted by this change should look for a letter in the mail from their local Department of Social Services in early March. They will get a new Medicaid ID card in the mail; however, their Medicaid ID (Recipient ID) will not change. They can continue to use the card they have now until the new one arrives.

For more information, visit the NC Health Choice webpage at