FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — In just over a month, North Carolina will launch Medicaid expansion

This will make 600,000 people across the state eligible for the program.

Thretha Chance said Medicaid has been a lifesaver, following a health scare in 2020.

“Had I not had Medicaid to step in and help me, you know, I don’t know what I would have done,” Chance said. “Living paycheck to paycheck and I’m on social security living monthly check, you know rent, light, phone, it adds up.”

Once the expansion goes live on Dec. 1, people will be able to sign up through their county’s Department of Social Services.

“Save yourself some headaches, always bring you proof of income, your proof of residency, and your ID,” Chance said.

There are multiple ways to apply online through ePASS. You can also apply for NC Medicaid at HealthCare.gov.

Call your local Department of Social Services and complete a telephone application is an option.

You can also fill out a paper application and either mail, fax, email, or drop off the application to your local DSS Office.

The most common way is in person at your local DSS office.

The will make an estimated 40,000 Cumberland County residents eligible for new and expanded services. The county is investing $344,633 to establish a call center dedicated to Medicaid services and looks to provide kiosks in the lobby to assist with the anticipated DSS in-person traffic for Medicaid and other economic services programs.

To ensure people know about the expanded eligibility, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services launched a new website with a toolkit of resources for organizations to spread the word to their communities.

Keep in mind, if coverage is recertified or renewed, you don’t need to do anything and will receive a letter confirming eligibility.

If your coverage is terminated, you can appeal the decision, reapply, or apply for health coverage on the federal health insurance marketplace at healthcare.gov.

If your coverage changes to a different Medicaid program like Medicaid expansion, you don’t need to do anything.