Carolyn Sexton, HC/NCHC outreach coordinator for NC
New income guidelines for NC's child health insurance programs
April 1st increase is an important component of eligibility for Health Check/NC Health Choice
(Raleigh, NC) - New annual eligibility income guidelines for North Carolina's free or low-cost child health insurance programs, Health Check and NC Health Choice, become effective on April 1, 2007. Under the new guidelines, families of all sizes may earn a slightly higher income and still qualify for these programs. Even children with one or two working parents earning $41,300 a year or more may be eligible. Yet, parents often don’t apply because they think they don’t qualify.
According to the new, pre-tax, monthly income guidelines valid from April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008, a family of two may now earn $2,282 (an $82 increase from last year's requirements), a family of three may earn $2,862 (a $95 increase), a family of four may earn $3,442 (a $108 increase), and a family of five may earn $4,022 (a $122 increase).
Whether a child qualifies for Health Check or NC Health Choice depends on the family's size and their income the previous month. Both programs offer a comprehensive package of health benefits, including dental, vision and hearing care, to children and teens under 19 years old (up to 21 in some cases).
In 2005, 841,840 children were enrolled in HC or NCHC, according to the 2006 Child Health Report Card published by Action for Children North Carolina. However, that same year, approximately 264,000 children in the state (12 percent) were uninsured. The North Carolina Healthy Start Foundation and the NC Division of Public Health have been partnering since 1998 to raise awareness about these insurance programs for the health of children across the state. It is important that all children receive health insurance since insured children are more likely to get regular check-ups, have minor illnesses treated before they become serious, have developmental problems recognized early and stay healthier.
The application process for the programs is easy. Families fill out only one, four-page-long, application available in English or Spanish to be considered for enrollment in either Health Check or NC Health Choice. Parents can mail or deliver the completed form to their local Department of Social Services. Proof of income, which is usually a copy of last month's paycheck stubs, is required when applying. For more information and to obtain an application, families should call the NC Family Health Resource Line at
1-800-367-2229 or go to www.NCHealthyStart.org.
Background information sheet
HC/NCHC brochure with income guidelines
The N.C. Healthy Start Foundation, a
nonprofit organization established in 1990, conducts
ongoing public education campaigns, advises state and
local policy makers, and provides technical assistance
and professional training focused on reducing infant
death and illness and improving the health of women
and young children in N.C.