If you need to enroll for health insurance under the federal exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act, the deadline is December 15.
Health insurance coverage is no longer mandatory for American citizens.
Blue Cross Blue Shield is one of two companies offering marketplace coverage in South Carolina. Although people can enroll online, BCBS spokesperson Shawn Skillman encourages people to talk to a representative about their coverage needs.
“Speak to someone because your life changes,” he said. “You might like yours that you have now but . . . maybe something’s changed in your life and you want to take a look and see what else is out there. So we want to have that one-on-one attention.”
As of June, there were 182,557 South Carolinians that had coverage through the federally-facilitated marketplace, according to the South Carolina Department of Insurance.
A variety of plans are available at varying level of coverage. Blue Cross Blue Shield offers 24 plans.
“That’s what we recommend, is for people to actually talk to us. Call us. Let us know what they’re after,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot of options for people. So maybe you’re somebody who has medication or you go to the doctor more, there is a plan for that. Maybe you don’t get sick very much and so you’re going to have a plan for that.”
The South Carolina Department of Insurance recommends consumers shop around and find the best fit. Know your needs and what will work for you and really read the policy so you know what is and isn’t covered. Work with a licensed insurance agent you trust.
Before you visit an office, make the phone call or go online, there are some documents you need to enroll.
“People need to bring the Social Security numbers of everybody getting insurance,” he said. “If they can, their tax return. Bring their tax return that way they can see if maybe they qualify for a subsidy. 90 percent of people qualify for subsidies who are getting insurance on the exchange.”
People who currently have coverage do not need to enroll unless they want to make changes to their plans.
“If they do nothing, they would remain in the same plan or moved to a similar plan if the plan they were in was not offered in 2019. Any subsidy would be based on the original income they submitted. This is called a passive renewal. The customer would get a bill and just need to pay it to keep their coverage going in 2019. It is recommended that everyone go into their account and make updates to their income and household size if applicable so the government has the most recent information to assign the subsidy,” Skillman said.
Absolute Total Care is offering ACA plans to Charleston County Residents only.
Click here to enroll with Blue Cross Blue Shield or call 1-877-313-2583. Blue Cross Blue Shield also has retail stores in Columbia, Mount Pleasant and Greenville and the Blue Mobile Center in North Charleston December 10-15.