Welcome To Swain County

Social Services

Health Choice

North Carolina Health Choice is a health insurance program that serves children from working families. It provides full medical insurance coverage to low-income children who are not eligible for Medicaid but whose family income is less than 200 % of the federal poverty standard but cannot afford private health insurance. These families earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but cannot afford private health insurance. The families must meet specific guidelines and the children must be under age 19. The program is free to most. Some families, with higher incomes, must pay an annual premium, which can never exceed $100 (regardless of the number of children enrolled from the family). There is no limit on resources. The coverage is similar to that of Medicaid. Eligible children receive a card which is valid for one year (unless they move out of state or become insured through another source). North Carolina has limited funds available for N.C. Health Choice. Because of the capped funding, a waiting list may be instituted at anytime when the program reaches or exceeds it s funding limits. During an enrollment freeze, families may still apply for assistance, however, children who are found eligible for NCHC are added to a list to await enrollment when funds become available.

NC Health Choice for Children provides health coverage for uninsured children (under 19 years old) whose families do not have health insurance benefits and who do not qualify for Medicaid. Income guidelines apply and there is an enrollment fee if countable income equals or exceeds set amounts. As shown in the table below, a family of four earning less than $3,067 gross per month can receive coverage which includes medical, dental, vision and hearing care as well as counseling, therapies and mental health. Blue Cross/Blue Shield of N.C. administers the program, and the cost is paid by federal and state funding.

The child must be 6 years of age or older and be ineligible for full Medicaid benefits under any category and not covered by comprehensive health insurance. In order to be eligible the insurance must be stopped. However, if an absent parent is court ordered to provide health insurance, this insurance cannot be dropped.

Income Guidelines

Family Size - Monthly Income - before taxes

2 - $2,020

3 - $2,544

4 - $3,067

5 - $3,590

note - effective 4/01/03 - 03/31/04
Step Parent/Grandparent Income is not counted.

Deductions from income:

  • daycare for child or incapacitated adult
  • child support being paid for a child outside of the home
  • income of a step-parent is not counted.

You can download an NCHC application and find out more information about the plan at the NC Division of Medical Assistance website.

Health Choice Services Include:

  • doctor visits for sick children
  • well child check-ups
  • eye exams and glasses
  • hearing exams and hearing aids
  • prescriptions
  • hospital coverage
  • dental care
  • mental health
  • counseling
  • and more

Appointment Procedure
Apply at DSS, use mail-in Medicaid/Health Choice Applications or applications can be mailed in.

You will need to bring income verivication with you

Services are paid for through Federal and State funds.

NC Health Choice Applications
English I Espanol

*You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the forms. You can dowload it below:


Department of Social Services
80 Academy Street
Bryson City, NC 28713

Mailing Address
PO Box 610
Bryson City, NC 28713


Sheila Sutton, Director
Phone 828-488-6921
Fax 828-488-8271

Office Hours