Local governments prepare for Medicaid expansion; Applicants encouraged to apply online for faster service

By Staff Report, posted 1 week ago

The North Carolina Health and Human Services announced that beginning Dec. 1, 2023, Medicaid will expand to cover citizens ages 19 through 64 years of age who have incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. 

Harnett and Cumberland County are eager to help their community members access these expanded resources.

“Medicaid expansion will allow individuals and their families to have access to health care coverage who previously have not been able to find it. There are approximately 9,700 individuals in Harnett County that may be eligible for the service. The employees of Harnett County Department of Social Services look forward to serving the citizens of our great county,” said Paul Polinski, Harnett County Director of Social Services, in a press release.

The Cumberland County Department of Social Services (DSS) is preparing for an estimated 35,000 citizens to become eligible for Medicaid through expansion. Eligible individuals currently receiving Medicaid Family Planning benefits may automatically be enrolled in full health care coverage. Anyone who is eligible for automatic enrollment will be notified.

Residents of any county in the state seeking to enroll in Medicaid under the expanded guidelines to apply online at 

Another way to apply as a Cumberland County resident is to download a form here and submit a paper application via U.S. Mail or drop-off boxes located at the Hillsboro Street entrance at the DSS building, located at 1225 Ramsey St., in Fayetteville.

Citizens may also apply in person, however due to the anticipated high demand citizens should be prepared for longer wait times for in-person assistance.

Cumberland County DSS understands Medicaid Expansion’s significance for the community and

staff have been diligently preparing for this expansion. The anticipated high demand could impact wait times related to applying and processing Medicaid Expansion benefits.

Cumberland County DSS will hold outreach activities to assist residents in the community with

information and applying. The dates for these activities will be announced.

For more (Cumberland County specific) information, including specific eligibility guidelines and detailed information regarding the different ways to apply, visit

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