A settlement was reached on October 14, 2022, subject to court approval, in Franklin v. Kinsley, formerly known as Hawkins v. Cohen.  The federal class action lawsuit was filed in 2017 by Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy and the National Health Law Program on behalf of Medicaid beneficiaries in North Carolina.

In the lawsuit, the Advocacy Center and National Health Law Program alleged that the North Carolina Medicaid agency, along with county Departments of Social Services (DSS), were terminating and reducing Medicaid benefits without considering eligibility under all Medicaid categories.  It was alleged that this was done without providing timely and adequate written notice, in violation of federal Medicaid statute and the U.S. Constitution.

In the settlement agreement, the North Carolina Medicaid agency agreed to extensive and very detailed changes to its procedures, forms, and notices for redetermining Medicaid eligibility for the 2.8 million North Carolinians currently enrolled in Medicaid. This agreement is to help not just the people who filed the case but all other Medicaid beneficiaries.

Here are your some of your rights under this agreement:

• Not have your Medicaid stopped or reduced because the county DSS has not
timely redetermined your eligibility;
• To have your eligibility be considered under all categories before your
Medicaid is stopped or reduced;
• To have your claim of disability considered prior to termination or reduction
of your Medicaid benefits;
• To have your Medicaid continue without you doing anything if DSS has
enough information from other sources to show that you are still eligible;
• To ask for and receive assistance from DSS in obtaining any information
needed to redetermine your eligibility;
• To receive a written notice before your Medicaid is reduced or terminated that
clearly and specifically states why this action will be taken;
• To have your case reopened if you provide the information needed by DSS
after your benefits are stopped.

If you have any questions about your rights, you may contact the attorneys who filed
the case, the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy. You can reach these lawyers by
calling this toll-free number: 1-800-936-4971. You can also send the lawyers an
email at Hawkinsinfo@charlottelegaladvocacy.org.

You also may contact these lawyers if you want to report that you lost your Medicaid
without the above protections being given to you. There is no cost to you for any
help that these lawyers provide to you.