The EBCI Tribal Option and what it means for Medicaid beneficiaries

by Feb 25, 2021Front Page, Health, NEWS ka-no-he-da



Eligible Medicaid members will begin to receive letters on Monday, March 15 from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) notifying Medicaid beneficiaries of open enrollment which will now include the EBCI (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians) Tribal Option. 

The EBCI Tribal Option, the first Indian Managed Care Entity in the nation, is a health plan created by the Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority available to members of federally recognized tribes, or those who are eligible for Indian Healthcare Services. This health plan will offer tailored medical, behavioral health, pharmacy, and support services for Medicaid members. 

“Right now, Medicaid members use NC Medicaid Direct, the current healthcare program in North Carolina,” said Karen Kennedy, Tribal Option director, “CIHA is now able to offer Medicaid services through the EBCI Tribal Option as a source to meet the primary care needs of tribal members who are eligible.” 

Gwynneth Wildcatt, Tribal Option Member Services manager, stated, “It is important for Medicaid beneficiaries to be aware of these letters, so that they can make informed decisions when it comes to their Medicaid services.  If members have not made their choice after the open enrollment period they will automatically be enrolled in the EBCI Tribal Option.”

The EBCI Tribal Option will be primarily offered in the following counties: Cherokee, Graham, Haywood, Jackson and Swain. 

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– Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority release