Open Enrollment 2023: What You Need to Know in South Carolina

It’s time to select a health insurance plan for 2023. 

Open Enrollment begins on November 1 and ends on January 15. If you want a policy to start on January 1, however, you need to enroll no later than December 15.

As always there are changes in the Marketplace that may influence your decision.

Individual Health Insurance

Here’s what you need to know about Open Enrollment 2023 in South Carolina:

1. New health insurance companies in many South Carolina counties. 

Depending on where you live, you may see new options. Cigna is now available in several counties along the coast (Charleston, Horry, and others).

A company called First Choice Next is available in many of the state’s population centers (Greenville, Richland, Charleston, and Horry counties among others).

Some carriers have expanded into new counties, including Ambetter Health and Molina.

Lastly, Bright Health is no longer available, having decided to leave the individual health insurance market at the end of 2022.

2. Pay attention to provider networks!

As always, with these new options, it will be very important that you pay attention to provider networks to make sure your doctors and preferred hospital systems are in the network you choose.

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina has by far the largest network option available, including every hospital system in the state… on most plans.

(Note: BCBS has a handful of plans that are HMOs with a very narrow, specific network. These will have labels like “Reedy” or “Cooper” plans. The Reedy plan, for example, is limited to only providers within the Prisma Health Upstate system.) 

Every other carrier will have network limitations you need to consider.

In Greenville County, for example, Ambetter Health includes Prisma but not the Bon Secours St. Francis system. First Choice Next, on the other hand, has only Bon Secours St. Francis (no Prisma or even Spartanburg Regional).

If you need help looking at provider networks, let us know.

3. Health insurance prices have changed. 

Like everything else, healthcare prices are going up, and thus so are health insurance premiums.

But there’s good news: When premiums go up, so do the subsidy amounts within the Affordable Care Act. In a few early quotes, we’ve actually seen some people who are winding up with lower rates than they did in 2022. This may vary by county.

And most people qualify for some level of discount on health insurance.

Along those lines, if you’ve had changes in your household income or composition, we need to update that information on the Marketplace as we consider your health insurance options for next year.

All that to say, it’s worth taking a look and we’ll be happy to help.

4. Dental and other options in South Carolina.

Many people don’t know that there are dental plans available on the Marketplace. Because most South Carolina dentists don’t participate in networks, these may or may not prove worthwhile for you. We also have dental plans available outside the Marketplace (with no waiting periods).

We still recommend most of our clients consider a supplemental policy like accident insurance and/or critical illness insurance. These are very inexpensive and can help protect you from the high deductible you probably have on your primary health insurance plan.

Innovative approach to health insurance5. Off-Marketplace health insurance options in South Carolina.

If you don’t qualify for a subsidy, you might consider a few alternative options outside the Marketplace. BlueChoice HealthPlan offers excellent ACA-qualified plans that are typically more robust than what you get on the Marketplace.

If you’re healthy, you might want to consider short-term health insurance, or an innovative approach like Sidecar Health.

The Bottom Line on Open Enrollment 2023

TL / DR: 

  • There are new carriers in some areas, but you need to check the provider network.
  • Prices will change so it’s worth taking a look at your options.

We’re happy to help you find a health plan for 2023. We’d also be happy to help your friends and neighbors, so please send them our way!

Open Enrollment 2023Click here to see plans and prices in your area!