South Carolina Health Insurance
Some South Carolina residents can take advantage of new ways to get affordable health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act. According to a December 2012 Kaiser Family Foundation profile, state Gov. Nikki Haley announced South Carolina would not create its own health insurance marketplace. Also, South Carolina is one of 21 states that decided not to expand Medicaid coverage in 2014.
This means South Carolina residents can register and apply at the national health insurance marketplace at HealthCare.gov during open enrollment. From there, people can find out if they qualify for a subsidy to offset the costs of private marketplace plans. The application process helps you determine if you qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, called CHIP.
Do you qualify for a health insurance subsidy in South Carolina?
According to a January 2014 Kaiser Family Foundation profile of the uninsured in South Carolina, nearly half of previously uninsured residents can get some type of financial assistance with medical coverage. For many, this will include tax credits (subsidies) they can immediately apply to monthly health insurance premiums. Others might qualify for Medicaid and CHIP. Typically, if you have access to some other type of affordable major medical insurance, you won’t qualify for assistance.
Here are some ways you might qualify for help with health insurance in South Carolina:
- Individuals and families with incomes between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level might qualify for premium tax credits to help pay for private marketplace plans. The income requirements are between $23,550 and $94,200 for a family of four and between $11,490 and $45,960 for an individual.
- Non-disabled adults who have children and earn less than 67 percent of the poverty level – about $15,980 for a family of four – may qualify for Medicaid in this state.
- Children of South Carolina families who earn less than 213 percent of the poverty level — about $50,800 for a family of four — might qualify for CHIP.
Some South Carolinians might decide to purchase marketplace plans even if they do not qualify for assistance. All marketplace plans must provide ten mandated health benefits, and insurers may not exclude your application based on your pre-existing medical conditions.
Marketplace health insurance companies in South Carolina
According to the South Carolina Department of Insurance, these companies offer marketplace plans for individuals and families in the state.
- BlueChoice Health Plan
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina
- Consumers’ Choice Health Plan
- Coventry HealthCare of the Carolinas, Inc
South Carolina health and coverage statistics
South Carolina population (2013): 4,774,839
Population 65 and older (2012): 14.7 percent
Life expectancy (2010): 77.0 years
Number of Medicaid beneficiaries (2012): 750,600
Number of Medicare beneficiaries (2012): 692,800
Estimated number of uninsured residents (2012): 771,000
Overall state health ranking: 43
Sources: Kaiser Family Foundation, U.S. Census Bureau, America’s Health Rankings 2014 report.
South Carolina health insurance resources
Federal marketplace: http://www.healthcare.gov/
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control: http://www.scdhec.gov/
South Carolina Department of Insurance: http://www.doi.sc.gov/
South Carolina Office on Aging: http://aging.sc.gov/Pages/default.aspx
Kaiser Family Foundation: http://kff.org/tag/south-carolina/