Consumers' Choice Health Plan is Closing: What You Need to Know

ClosedThe SC Department of Insurance announced today that Consumers’ Choice Health Plan has agreed to wind down it’s operations and will leave the market on January 1, 2016.
Consumers’ Choice will not offer health insurance plans in 2016 and all current plans will expire on December 31, 2015.
There are roughly 67,000 people in South Carolina who are currently insured with Consumers’ Choice. If you’re one of them, here’s what you need to know:

Will my Consumers’ Choice insurance still work this year?

Yes. As long as you continue to pay your monthly premium your coverage will continue until December 31.

What should I do about health insurance in 2016?

There are individual health insurance policies that are available from other (stable) companies through the Obamacare Marketplace. Quite frankly, there are plans that offer better coverage for the money. You’ll still be able to utilize premium tax credits to help reduce your monthly cost if you qualify.
Open Enrollment for 2016 begins November 1. If you want to have a new plan start on January 1, you must enroll by December 15. 


Why is Consumers’ Choice closing?

“They are in a financially hazardous condition…“I did not have faith in their financial ability to conduct business throughout the entire year of 2016,” Ray Farmer, director of the SC Department of Insurance, told The Greenville News.
To be honest, this was not a surprise to those in the industry. Consumers’ Choice was a non-profit co-op established with federal loans as part of the Affordable Care Act. In the last couple weeks, the co-ops in several other states have announced they are ceasing operations.
Like many other co-ops, Consumers’ Choice was relying on a redistribution of funding through the Affordable Care Act’s “risk corridor” program, which was supposed to spread the risk around by taxing companies that were profitable in the market to help those who sustained losses. Earlier this month the government announced that the risk corridor program would only be funded at 12.6%.
That resulted in a shortfall of millions of dollars that doomed several co-ops.
Do you have additional questions about Consumers’ Choice?
You’re welcome to contact us if you have other questions or concerns, or if you’d like help in transitioning to a new plan for 2016.