Health & Well-being

New Hanover County offers a competitive benefits package designed to encourage and support your health, well-being, and productivity. Benefit options include medical, dental, vision, employer-paid 401k contribution, numerous supplemental benefits options, contributions to the North Carolina Retirement Plan, paid leave, and 100% employer-paid long-term disability. Employees who elect medical or dental coverage within the specified timelines provided during onboarding will have their insurance coverage effective on the date of hire.

New Hanover County offers the following health benefits:

Medical Insurance

New Hanover County offers three health insurance plan options that are administered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. Choosing the right health insurance plan is an important decision. Take the time to learn about your options to ensure you select the right plan for you and your family. Employees are encouraged to participate in the Insurance Premium Wellness Incentive Program to qualify for significantly reduced insurance rates. Read more about this program under the Wellness panel. Employees who elect medical coverage through the plan options will have their insurance coverage effective on the date of hire.
  • The Buy Up Plan has the lowest deductibles but the highest employee premiums. This plan can be paired with a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). FSAs set aside money from your paycheck pre-tax to be used to cover healthcare and childcare costs. The funds in an FSA cannot be rolled over year to year.
  • The Base Plan has lower employee premiums but higher deductibles. This plan can also be paired with a FSA to cover healthcare and childcare costs.
  • The HSA Plan is an option with the same deductibles and premiums as the base plan but can be paired with a Health Savings Account (HSA). An HSA is a personal bank account that you can use to pay out-of-pocket healthcare expenses with pre-tax dollars. Money deposited in the account stays with you regardless of employer or health plan, and unused balances roll over from year to year. NHC will also contribute to an employee's HSA between $750 and $2,250 annually.

Dental Insurance

  • New Hanover County also offers dental insurance though Delta Dental. In-network benefits include two cleanings per year and full x-rays once per year. It offers an orthodontia benefit for children under 19 years of age. Employees who elect dental coverage through the plan options will have their insurance coverage effective on the date of hire.

Vision Insurance

  • This plan pays an annual benefit toward the cost of frames, lenses, and contacts. Employees who elect vision coverage through the plan options will have their insurance coverage effective on the first of the month following 30 days of employment. 

Long-Term and Short-Term Disability

  • Long-term disability is provided and paid 100% by New Hanover County. Benefits are effective on the 91st day of the employee's disability, and can continue up to two years. The plan pays 60% of your gross income.
  • Short-term Disability is guaranteed issue for new hires and is offered as income replacement in the event of the employee's short-term accident or illness. Benefits are effective the 1st day of an accident and the 8th day of an illness, and can continue up to 13 weeks. The plan pays 70% of your gross income. Rates vary based on age and salary.

Employee Assistance Program

  • It can sometimes be difficult to juggle all that life hands you. New Hanover County understands that occasionally you may need some help in maintaining the balance between your work and your personal life. The New Hanover County Employee Assistance Program is available to all county employees and is designed to support you with a variety of resources including managing finances, stress, legal issues, or individual, couples and family counseling. These services are all free to county employees and their household family members. We want you to know that we are here to help keep you safe, happy, and successful in both your professional and private life.

Other Benefits

  • Hospital Gap Plan This plan will pay indemnity daily for up to 15 days for every day an employee is an inpatient in a hospital and/or a one-time benefit for outpatient surgery, diagnostic testing, ICU confinement, and a health screening exam.
  • Flexible Spending Accounts This plan allows employees to pay for their personal and dependents’ out-of-pocket healthcare expenses, and childcare expenses, with tax-free money.
  • Cancer Insurance This plan will pay benefits to an employee or dependent based on the expenses incurred due to a diagnosis of invasive cancer.
  • Accident Insurance This plan will pay benefits to an employee, and/or eligible dependent(s), that has had an accident off the job. Benefits are determined based on the type of accident. The plan also has an annual wellness benefit.
  • Voluntary Life Insurance Plans Term Life and Accidental Death insurance plans are guaranteed issue for new hires and their dependents.
  • Critical Illness Guaranteed issue for new hires, this plan pays an initial diagnosis benefit of $10,000 for illnesses such as heart attack and stroke.

Additionally, New Hanover County supports overall employee well-being by providing:

The on-site WAY Health Clinic is a free, confidential, and convenient health resource for all regular benefits-eligible employees as well as spouses and dependent children (age 13 or older) covered by the county's Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC medical plans.

A Nurse Practitioner is on staff and can provide medical education about chronic conditions such as Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Cholesterol, weight management, nutrition, smoking cessation and other personalized health coaching. 

Other services available include medical advice, writing prescriptions, performing blood testing and treatment of minor medical conditions

To encourage the use of the facility, employees are provided with a special Wellness Clinic Leave for visits to the clinic.

In addition to the clinic services, the WAY program is also proud to offer an in-house physical therapist. This innovative physical therapy and rehabilitation program is made available at no cost to benefits-eligible employees as well as spouses and dependents (13 years and older) who are covered on the county’s BCBSNC medical plan.

Insurance Premium Wellness Incentive Program

To encourage employees to take control of their own health New Hanover County offers a Wellness Incentive Program that can reduce the rate of an employee’s monthly health insurance premium.

To qualify, employees must participate in free Health Risk Assessments (HRA). HRAs are done prior to the employee's date of hire and annually in the spring. Any spouse covered on the employee's county medical plan must also complete an HRA. The HRA measures your blood pressure, height, weight, waist, pulse rate, and fasting blood test for cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, and PSAs (males 45 and older) to find out more about your health and ways to protect it.

Check the current benefits rates to compare standard, preferred, and preferred plus insurance premiums.

Participation in the Wellness Incentive Program is voluntary.


New Hanover County offers a multitude of employee well-being opportunities designed to help employees stay in tune with their personal health.

Wellness Challenges encourage employees to engage in healthy behaviors, like eating healthy and being more active to support healthy lifestyles. Successful participation in wellness challenges may also earn employees Wellness Incentive Leave.

Wellness Education opportunities are provided monthly with health professionals and subject matter experts presenting health classes on helpful information as well as lifestyle tips to reduce risks for chronic health conditions.