Enrolling on a Small Group Plan with BCBS of South Carolina

When it comes to enrolling in your small employer’s insurance plans, the details often depend on the insurance company’s policies and guidelines. Because it has come up a lot recently, I want to briefly lay out what those guidelines are with Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, the largest player in the small employer health insurance market.
Essentially, you need to enroll in the plan within 30 days of becoming eligible or of a “qualifying event” or you’ll become a “late enrollee.” There, that was easy, right? Well OK… let’s define some of these terms and unpack it a bit.
Eligibility – When you are hired as a full-time employee, the clock begins ticking on the waiting period until you become eligible to participate on your small employer’s health insurance plan. Usually that waiting period is 90 days. If you choose to enroll, after those 90 days are up you will be covered beginning on the 1st of the month (whenever the next 1st is). The best advice, then, is to enroll as soon as you can.
If you don’t enroll when you start, you could enroll after a qualifying event. This would include the loss of other coverage (i.e. your COBRA ran out or your spouse lost a job/benefits, etc.). You would also have the ability to add or remove dependents upon a marriage, birth, adoption, etc.
Otherwise, you’ll be a late enrollee with Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina. This means that, upon completion of your enrollment paperwork for your employer’s plan, there would be a 12-month waiting period until your coverage begins. (The good news is that you wouldn’t have to pay any premiums during this period). If this happens, a good broker (like, well, US!) will try to help you find short-term health insurance coverage elsewhere for the time being.
Questions? Contact us!