Financial assistance increases along with health insurance premiums

South Carolinians will be relieved to know that the Affordable Care Act protects consumers as it was designed to do with financial assistance increasing along with premiums. 8 out of 10 people qualify for financial assistance that will lower their monthly premiums. Many South Carolinians will find plans for less than $100 a month.

There are 26 Blue Cross Blue Shield plans to choose from in 2017. Window shopping is important; consumers can choose the plan that best fits their wallet and medical needs. We’re encouraging everyone to visit HealthCare.gov to check out their options—whether or not they get tax credits to lower their premiums, and whether or not they’ve shopped there in the past. That’s because:

Since financial assistance increases along with rates, some people will be surprised to find out that they’re newly eligible for assistance, even if they haven’t been in the past.

HealthCare.gov is easier than ever to navigate to shop and compare plans.

Comparing plans pays off. And in addition to comparing rates, shopping allows consumers to easily evaluate plans based on other factors like provider network, prescription drug coverage, and total out-of-pocket costs.

And unlike before the Affordable Care Act, every one of the plans:

Is guaranteed to be available to every consumer, even if she has asthma or once had cancer.

Must cover essential health benefits, without carve-outs for basic services; must cap consumers’ out-of-pocket costs; and can’t impose lifetime or annual limits on coverage.

Open enrollment starts November 1. Sign up by December 15 for a plan to take effect by January 1. Any South Carolinian who wants to meet with an in-person enrollment assister can schedule a free appointment. South Carolinians can call signupSC toll-free at 1-888-998-4646 or visit www.palmettoproject.org

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About signupSC

signupSC, a partnership of Palmetto Project, utilizes certified insurance navigators to provide free, local, confidential enrollment assistance to South Carolinians about their options for affordable health care coverage in both the Health Insurance Marketplace and SC Healthy Connections Medicaid. Palmetto Project works collaboratively with other agencies and organizations to share unbiased, accurate, and culturally competent enrollment information with people around the state.

About the Palmetto Project

Palmetto Project is a statewide nonprofit organization whose mission is to identify innovative approaches to social and economic challenges facing South Carolina. Through special partnerships with governments, businesses, civic groups, schools, and religious organizations, Palmetto Project strives to bring a fresh entrepreneurial spirit to the challenge of building successful communities in a great state. For more information, call (843) 577-4122 or visit www.PalmettoProject.org.