Published: May. 10, 2022 at 3:00 AM AKDT

RALEIGH, N.C., May 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- In conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services' Division of Health Benefits, WellCare of North Carolina is pleased to announce participation in an innovative Medicaid program, Healthy Opportunities.

The Healthy Opportunities Program is the nation's first comprehensive program to test non-medical interventions, such as providing healthy food boxes and addressing transportation needs of Medicaid beneficiaries. The program is a facet of the state's broader Medicaid Transformation efforts and will support and address social determinants of health.

"At WellCare of North Carolina, we understand much of what impacts health happens outside of the doctor's office," said Troy Hildreth, WellCare's Plan President & CEO in North Carolina. "That's why we are proud to participate in the Healthy Opportunities initiative to address social determinants of health and invest in the health, safety, and wellbeing of our members and local communities."

The pilot aims to deliver relevant and compelling services to Medicaid members in a user-friendly format that addresses housing supports, food security, transportation resources, and interpersonal safety. It will take place in three phases:

  • Phase One (Food Security) - Focuses on food services and launched on March 15;
  • Phase Two (Housing & Transportation) – Will support housing and transportation services and launched May 1; and,
  • Phase Three (Interpersonal Safety) – Will work to address toxic and chronic stress, such as interpersonal violence, and is expected to launch June 15.

In total, the initiative spans three regions and 33 counties:

  • Pilot Region 1 - Beaufort, Bertie, Chowan, Edgecombe, Halifax, Hertford, Martin, Northampton, and Pitt counties
  • Pilot Region 2 - Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover, Onslow, and Pender counties
  • Pilot Region 3 - Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, and Yancey counties

Through Healthy Opportunities, Medicaid beneficiaries lacking everyday resources, or who are identified through doctors, Advance Medical Homes (AMHs), or Care Managers (CMs), are referred to community-based organizations who can provide them with support.

WellCare of North Carolina will also utilize its Community Connections Helpline (CCHL) to proactively reach eligible members through outbound calls to identify needs that could be met with any of the services available through Healthy Opportunities.

About WellCare of North Carolina
Headquartered in Raleigh, WellCare of North Carolina provides government-sponsored managed care services to families, children, seniors, and individuals with complex needs primarily through Medicaid as one of the state's Medicaid Prepaid Health Plans (WellCare of North Carolina), Marketplace (WellCare of North Carolina by Celtic Insurance Company), Medicare Advantage (Wellcare), and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Wellcare). WellCare of North Carolina is a wholly owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation, a leading healthcare enterprise committed to helping people live healthier lives. For more information, visit www.wellcare.com/nc.

Any reference in this press release to any person, organization, activity, or services related to North Carolina Medicaid does not constitute or imply the endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

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SOURCE WellCare of North Carolina

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