Open Enrollment for individual health insurance plans is November 1 – December 15.
To be clear, this is the ONLY time you can enroll in individual health insurance for 2020 (unless a major life event qualifies you for a “Special Enrollment Period”).
Some things have changed in South Carolina, so we wanted to briefly tell you what you need to know about Obamacare in South Carolina:
New Health Insurance Options in South Carolina
For the first time in years, there are new health insurance companies entering the Obamacare Marketplace in South Carolina. BlueCross BlueShield will remain the only company on the Marketplace statewide, but in certain areas there will be alternatives:
- Bright Health will be offering plans to residents of Anderson, Greenville, and Pickens Counties.
- Molina will be offering plans in 20 counties: Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Charleston, Calhoun, Clarendon, Colleton, Dillon, Edgefield, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Marlboro, Marion, McCormick, Orangeburg, Saluda, Williamsburg.
- Ambetter Health will be offering plans in these counties: Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Chester, Colleton, Dorchester, Florence, Horry, Jasper, Lancaster, Marion, York.
Also, outside the Obamacare Marketplace, BlueChoice HealthPlan will be available statewide .
Dental Plans on the Marketplace in South Carolina
When you use our Marketplace enrollment platform, you’ll now have the opportunity to enroll in individual dental insurance. You’ll see a tab at the top for health insurance and one for dental insurance. Selecting the dental tab will show you plans and rates from companies who participate in the Marketplace. You’ll be able to enroll using the same application as you use for health insurance.
Maximum Out-of-Pocket Costs
Every year the government sets the maximum allowable out-of-pocket costs for individual health insurance plans. And, unfortunately, every year that number goes up a little bit. For 2020, the maximum allowable out-of-pocket costs are $8,150 for an individual and $16,300 for a family.
Many plans, of course, will utilize those maximum out-of-pocket numbers, and many more will come close.
Many Things Have Not Changed in Obamacare for 2020
Many important points remain unchanged, including:
- Pre-existing conditions are covered no matter what and at no extra cost.
- Subsidies are available for those who make between 100-400% of the Federal Poverty Level. (This is a function of household size and household income. Most people qualify for some relief, and it can make a big difference.)
- If you don’t qualify for a subsidy, you should enroll in a plan outside the Marketplace.
- There is no “individual mandate” or penalty for people who don’t have Obamacare-qualified coverage. Some people prefer to find coverage via short-term health plans or health sharing ministries.
How to Enroll in Individual Health Insurance for 2020
If you like the plan you have, and there no changes to your household size or income, you can choose to do nothing. This “passive re-enrollment” will take place automatically and you’ll receive new policy information. If your exact plan is not being offered, your health insurance company will move you to the plan that most closely resembles your current benefits.
In most cases, however, it may be good to actively enroll for 2020. Here are some reasons to consider doing so:
- If your household size or income has changed, you’ll need to adjust it in order to get the appropriate subsidy relief.
- There options available in many South Carolina counties. It will be worth a look around to see if you can get a better plan for the money.
- Our third-party enrollment platform makes the entire process simple and efficient.
Whatever you decide to do, AC Forrest would love the opportunity to help you make sense of your options and choose the health insurance coverage that is best for you and your family in 2020.