Information & Options Counseling

Options Counseling:  A decision-support process that includes listening to expressed preferences, values and needs, talking about options based on needs and preferences, supporting an individual to make informed choices, connecting the individual to services and following up with the individual.

Local Contact Agency (LCA):  LCA staff, who are certified Options Counselors, are responsible for working with the resident and nursing home staff to discuss options for transitioning to the community by offering contact information for community based services that may facilitate transition once a resident indicates interest in learning more about transitioning home during their assessment.  The LCA also takes the application for Money Follows the Person (MFP) which is a demonstration project that assists Medicaid eligible North Carolinians who live in inpatient facilities to move into their own homes and communities with supports.

Medicare Programs

Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP):  Counsels Medicare beneficiaries and caregivers and provides unbiased information about Medicare and Medicare services.  We also help people recognize and prevent Medicare billing errors and possible fraud and abuse through our NC SMP Program.  Our counseling helps you select the best Medicare plan for your situation.  Each year, the SHIIP program saves North Carolinians hundreds and thousands of dollars.

Extra Help:  A program funded under the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) of 2008 mandate to provide outreach and application assistance to persons eligible for the federal Low Income Subsidy (LIS) and Medicare Savings Program (MSP).  These programs help Medicare recipients save money on their prescription drug co-payments and their Medicare Part B and D premiums.

For more information on any of these services, contact Austin Caton, Family Caregiver Support Specialist at 252-436-2040 or email him at