Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. strongly encourages everyone who does not currently have health insurance to go to the Health Insurance Marketplace to find health insurance that fits their budget and meets their needs.
The Marketplace offers a whole new way to shop for coverage that will provide access to better options and better health. Eligible individuals, families, and small businesses will be able to go to one place to search for health coverage options, to get accurate information in easy to understand language, and to compare apples-to-apples before they make a plan choice.
South Carolina residents will be able to find health plans on the Marketplace that cover a comprehensive set of benefits, and they cannot be denied coverage based on a pre-existing condition. Open enrollment is going on now. Many individuals in South Carolina who are uninsured today may be able to find coverage for $100 or less per month in the Marketplace taking into account premium tax credits and Medicaid coverage. Plans and prices are now available. The last day for enrollment for 2015 coverage is February 15, 2015. Coverage will start March 1, 2015. After the February deadline, you can still enroll if you experience a qualifying life event, such as marriage, birth, adoption, death, or loss of insurance.
Mayor Riley said, “Right now, too many hardworking middle class people in South Carolina are uninsured. Many of our friends, family and neighbors live with the worry that they or their children may get sick or injured. It is devastating just to be sick or have a loved one who is sick, but for someone without medical insurance, sickness or injury could mean losing a house, a car, and other possessions in order to pay medical bills. That is why the Health Insurance Marketplace is so important. Now, it is easy to find and purchase an affordable healthcare plan, and everyone can have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you and your family are protected.”
The best source of the latest and most accurate information on the Marketplace is HealthCare.gov. The website now has new resources, videos, and checklists to help everyone prepare for the Marketplace.
Additionally, individuals can call 1-800-318-2596 to speak with a trained customer service representative 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Representatives will be available in English and Spanish, and there will be a language line to assist callers in over 150 additional languages. Small businesses should call 1-800-706-7893.
HealthCare.gov is the place to go to directly access the Health Insurance Marketplace. Consumers will only need to fill out a single application to choose from the health plans available in their area; to learn if they qualify for programs like Medicaid; or to find out if they qualify for lower costs on monthly premiums or out-of-pocket costs. Assistance, including online web chat, at the toll free number, or through trained, unbiased, professionals who will be working in communities, will also be available.
For nearly 20 years, Palmetto Project has been working to create a system of care for the uninsured. The Affordable Care Act offers the first major opportunity in our lifetime to decrease the number of uninsured in South Carolina.
The Palmetto Project has created a network of certified enrollment assisters called signupSC. SignupSC, provides access to fair, accurate, and impartial information about coverage options in the Health Insurance Marketplace so individuals can make the right decisions for their families. Call to get more information or schedule an in-person appointment at 1-888-998-4646.
For special accommodations, such as language interpretation (including ASL) or Braille readers, please advise the scheduler when making an appointment.