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When Western North Carolina resident Marilyn needed a healthier home for her daughter with asthma she was able to get housing navigation support, a move-in deposit and utility set up, healthy home supplies, and food boxes through her local Healthy Opportunities Pilot (HOP) service provider.
Healthy Opportunities is a North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services pilot program designed to evaluate the impact of providing a subset of Medicaid Managed Care members with evidence-based, non-medical interventions for needs related to housing, food, transportation, interpersonal safety, and toxic stress.
Impact Health is the Network Lead for HOP in Western North Carolina, which includes Buncombe County.
Research shows that up to 80% of a person’s overall health is driven by social and environmental factors such as a lack of safe housing, healthy food, reliable transportation, personal safety, or healthy relationships. This is why the NC Medicaid pilot program is focusing on helping members find the resources they need to stay healthy at no cost to them.
Eligible people include those who live in Western North Carolina and have NC Medicaid Managed Care, a qualifying physical or mental health condition, and a qualifying social need.
Available Services Include:
- Food: finding and getting nutritious food, credit to purchase fruit and vegetables, and home-delivered meals that meet medical dietary needs.
- Housing: support for finding stable, long-term housing, a one-time security deposit and first month’s rent, and help with home issues such as mold, home accessibility modifications, and healthy home goods.
- Transportation: transport to places that support health such as grocery stores, churches, or fitness centers; taxi and ride-sharing credits where public transport is unavailable; and vehicle repairs.
- Personal Safety & Healthy Relationships: parenting curriculum, interpersonal violence case management, and violence intervention services.
- Other: medical support for people experiencing homelessness and legal support to address issues that impact health including unsafe housing and unsafe relationships.
If you have clients or community members that you think may be eligible for HOP, you can direct them to:
- Visit wnc-hop.org to fill out an eligibility form
- Call the HOP helpline at 828-278-9900
- Contact the member services number on the back of their Medicaid card
- Reach out to a WNC HOP Network Member
All services are provided by a network of local organizations working with care managers and referrals are made through a secure online platform.
"As public health professionals, we know how much social factors impact health and wellbeing. HOP presents an amazing opportunity to connect community members with services that can make a real difference in their lives," says Laurie Stradley, Executive Director of Impact Health. "HOP also supports the nonprofit organizations we rely on every day to meet our community’s needs. We want to ensure that every person who qualifies for this pilot program is enrolled so that they can access these life-changing services.”
For more information on services, eligibility, and providers visit impacthealth.org.
For more information on the pilot program including its origins, goals, and Q&As, visit this website.