Just got insurance through methadone clinic (marketplace AETNA/CVS) but want to switch to Medicaid

Ok so here’s the deal. I haven’t had health insurance in years up until recently when I got it through my methadone clinic. Every time I tried to sign up through marketplace my premium (even though I’ve been below the poverty level for income for years) was still over $300 for anything decent. I live in a rural area and they have a decent clinic that covers most of what I need (aside from emergency surgery last year).

So I was just going to wait until next year to get insurance as it was already October when they finally got back to me (4 month after submitting my application through the clinic) about my insurance. At this point I hadn’t had much hope that Medicaid was actually going to be expanded to my state (NC) so I just on it with a $8/month premium. My deductible is $800 and that has to be paid before I get any services (even to see my PCP). Luckily substance abuse is separate so my cost for methadone per week went from $87 to $20 so that great until the end of the year. I’ve already gotten a notice that my premium is going up to $50 a month next year despite my income remaining the same. I had to take emergency custody of my 14 month old niece and am currently not able to work. They just shut down the majority of the daycares in our rural area and childcare is nonexistent. My mom has health issues and can only handle watching her for a few hours at a time. I care for her quite a bit too. So even $50 a month is too much.

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I brought this up to the lady at the clinic as she has a lot of experience working with insurance and she said that shouldn’t be a problem but she’s seen problems going from marketplace insurance to Medicaid and patients getting screwed because they want them to stay on the marketplace plans so they pull out all the tricks to get them to stay in it. I’m worried I’m going to have a lapse in coverage or denied.

Anyone have any experience with this? I really need Medicaid. I have some health issues and I also really need dental coverage. I haven’t seen a dentist is years and I know I already need a few root canals. I’m just trying to get my life back on track. I’ve gotten sober since last year and do everything possible to be there for my niece (she was abused and neglected while in her mother’s care) so it’s really not even an option to leave her with a stranger at daycare even if there was one. She’s still suffering from night terrors and separation anxiety because of what she went through when her mother kidnapped her and had her living in hotels with strangers for weeks. I feel so hopeless and lost. I have no idea how to get back to work and support myself and this baby and having Medicaid would be such a blessing.