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NC Medicaid Behavioral Health and Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Tailored Plan will launch July 1, 2024.
If you are in Partners Tailored Plan, you will receive a Partners Medicaid ID card starting on May 29 with PCP assignments. Please use the Choose or Change Your PCP form to change your PCP.

How to Apply for Medicaid

Call us toll free at 1-888-235-HOPE (4673). All calls are free and confidential. Partners manages services for individuals who are not insured or are covered by Medicaid or state and local insurance plans. We also fund crisis services for anyone, regardless of their insurance status.

The process for you to start getting help is broken into three steps.
Get started now.

Find out if you are eligible for Medicaid services.

The Department of Social Services in your county can tell you if you qualify for Medicaid. There are four ways to apply:

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

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

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

Use the 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 (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.

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

If you receive Social Security Insurance, Special Assistance to the Blind, Work First Family Assistance or Special Assistance for the Aged or Disabled, you are automatically eligible for Medicaid.

If you are not eligible for Medicaid, Call 1-888-235-HOPE (4673) to see if state-funded services are available to you.

Next, choose a health care provider.

When you call Partners, a licensed professional will ask you some questions to determine what issues you are having. Based on your answers and your eligibility, we will give you a list of health care providers who can help you.

You have the right to choose and change your provider at any time. From the list, you tell us who you want to see. And we will help you schedule your first appointment.

If you ever want to search our entire network of providers, use the Provider Search Tool.

your appointment

At your first appointment, your new health care provider will identify the problems you are having with your behavioral health. You and your provider will determine what care or treatment you want to start. Then, just like an insurance company, Partners will agree to pay your provider for the services you need.

You are now on your way to treatment and recovery. Partners, your service providers and a number of other community organizations are there every step of the way. If you have any questions or concerns, call us anytime at 1-888-235-HOPE (4673).

Medical Necessity

Eligibility for services is determined by medical necessity. This means you receive behavioral health care services intended to correct or improve mental health, substance use disorders, or intellectual/ developmental issues found by an assessment. An assessment is any evaluation by a doctor or licensed clinician. These healthcare services must be

  • Necessary to treat the specific issues.
  • The most appropriate service for the individual’s needs.
  • Based on past effectiveness known as evidence-based practices or best practices.
  • The least restrictive treatment available.
  • The most efficient service available.

Learn more about medical necessity by calling 1-888-235-HOPE (4673).

Service Authorizations

The Utilization Management (UM) Department ensures everyone has equal access to right care across the areas we serve. UM authorizes services which meet specific guidelines so the help you get

  • Supports recovery.
  • Reflects enrollee preferences.
  • Is efficient and cost effective.
  • Occurs in the most appropriate and least restrictive setting.
  • Is consistent with medical necessity criteria.
  • Promotes evidence-based practices.

Learn more about UM. To reach the Utilization Management Department, please call 1-877-864-1454. Learn more about service authorizations.

Look at the benefit grids Utilization Management uses to make decisions on services in benefit plans.

Rights to Appeal

Click here to learn about your rights to appeal if your choice of service is denied, reduced, suspended, or terminated. You may also call Partners’ Appeals Unit at 704-884-2650.

Additional Resources

Find out what mental health is, take screenings to assess your health and see how to get started finding treatment for mental illnesses.

Living with a disability? Find out what an intellectual or developmental disability is and see how to get started finding treatment for individuals living with a disability.

Find out what addiction is, take screenings to assess your alcohol and drug use and see how to get started finding treatment.

You can find all of our printed information in electronic form in English and Spanish on our Resources page.

Partners Health Management is allocated state funding to provide TBI-specific services and supports to individuals with a TBI living in its 14 counties.

Updated: April 24, 2024