SC BlueCross urge signups by Dec.15 for Jan. 1 coverage; Decembe - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

SC BlueCross urge signups by Dec.15 for Jan. 1 coverage; December events scheduled statewide

The following is a release from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association of South Carolina.

Columbia, S.C. – People purchasing individual or family insurance for 2015 must sign up by Dec. 15 for policies to go into effect Jan. 1. Representatives of BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina and BlueChoice® HealthPlan will be in numerous communities statewide in December to assist, including at the South Carolina BLUESM stores.

Customers currently holding policies should check to see if the additional options available for the coming year might be a better fit. They also can learn whether a change in their income might affect their current subsidy or enable them to qualify for a new subsidy to offset the cost.

“People not already in group plans can sign up for individual or family insurance anytime between now and Feb. 15, but they must sign up by Dec. 15 if they want coverage starting Jan. 1,” said BlueCross President Jim Deyling. “We have numerous ways they can learn what's required of them by the Affordable Care Act, how insurance works, whether they qualify for a federal stipend to offset the cost, what the federal penalty is if they don't make a purchase, and which of our plans are the best fit for them.”

The Affordable Care Act requires that nearly everyone hold insurance or pay a penalty when they file their federal taxes. The penalty increases for 2015 to 2 percent of household income or $325 per adult and $162.50 per child. Whichever is greater.

Sources for consumer information:

SC BLUE stores in Columbia, Greenville and Mount Pleasant (www.SCBLUEretail center.com) 

Toll-free phone lines (877-313-2583 for BlueCross and 888-213-2460 for BlueChoice®) 

Websites (www.HCReasyinfo.com for BlueCross and www.healthinsurancesc.com for BlueChoice) 

Agent open houses 

SC BLUE mobile retail centers touring the state 

Independent agents with BlueCross information tables at Bi-Lo and Goodwill stores 

Liberty Tax franchises educating people and selling BlueCross health policies 

Here's where consumers can get their questions answered in December:

Anderson

SC BLUE RV Tour Stop, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Dec. 3-4, Goodwill, 2901-A S. Main Street 

Bluffton/Beaufort

Agent Open House, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Dec. 1, Hampton Inn & Suites, 29 William Pope Drive, Bluffton 

Columbia

Health Care Reform 101 class, 6:15 p.m.-7:15 p.m., Dec. 8, SC BLUE store (1260 Bower Parkway in Columbiana Station) 

Health Care Reform: Understanding Subsidies class, 6:15 p.m.-7:15 p.m., Dec. 10, SC BLUE store 

Health Care Reform 101 class, 6:15 p.m.-7:15 p.m., Dec. 16, SC BLUE store 

Health Care Reform: Understanding Subsidies class, SC BLUE store, 6:15 p.m.-7:15 p.m., Dec. 18 

SC BLUE Day, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Dec. 20, EdVenture Children's Museum (free entry) 

SC BLUE RV Tour Stop, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Dec. 26-27, 120 Forum Drive (Bi-Lo), Village at Sandhill 

Easley

SC BLUE RV Tour Stop, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Dec. 5-6, Goodwill, 811 Saco Lowell Road 

Florence

Agent Open House, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Dec. 11, Hilton Garden Inn, 2671 Hospitality Blvd., Florence 

SC BLUE RV Tour Stop, noon-6 p.m., Dec. 14, 2640 West Palmetto St. 

SC BLUE RV Tour Stop, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Dec. 15-17, West Palmetto St. 

Georgetown

Agent Open House, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Dec. 4, Quality Inn & Suites, 210 Church St., Georgetown 

Greenville

Health Care Reform 101 class, 6:15-7:15 p.m., Dec. 1, SC BLUE store (1025 Woodruff Road in Magnolia Park)

Health Care Reform: Understanding Subsidies class, 6:15 p.m.-7:15 p.m., Dec. 3, SC BLUE store 

Agent Open House, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Dec. 6, Hilton Greenville, 45 W Orchard Park Drive, Greenville 

Health Care Reform 101 class, 6:15-7:15 p.m., Dec. 16, SC BLUE store 

Health Care Reform: Understanding Subsidies class, 6:15 p.m.-7:15 p.m., Dec. 18, SC BLUE store

Mount Pleasant

Insurance 101 class, 6 p.m.-7 p.m., Dec. 1, SC BLUE store (1795 Highway 17 North in Towne Centre Place) 

Health Care Reform 101 class, 6 p.m.-7 p.m., Dec. 8, SC BLUE store 

Health Care Reform: Understanding Subsidies, 6 p.m.-7 p.m., Dec. 10, SC BLUE store 

Health Care Reform 101 class, 6 p.m.-7 p.m., Dec. 16, SC BLUE store 

Health Care Reform: Understanding Subsidies, 6 p.m.-7 p.m., Dec. 18, SC BLUE store 

Myrtle Beach

SC BLUE RV Tour, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Dec. 1-4, Doctors Care, 1220 21st Ave. North 

Agent Open House, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Dec. 13, Hampton Inn at Broadway at the Beach, 1140 Celebrity Circle 

North Charleston

Agent Open House, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Dec. 6, Charleston Area Convention Center, 5001 Coliseum Drive

Spartanburg

SC BLUE RV Tour Stop, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Dec. 8-11, Doctors Care, 218 East Blackstock Road 

Agent Open House, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Dec. 9, Spartanburg Marriott, 299 N. Church St. 

SC BLUE RV Tour Stop, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Dec. 22-23, Doctors Care, 218 East Blackstock Road 

Summerville

SC BLUE RV Tour Stop, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Dec. 9-12, Doctors Care, 410 North Main St. 

Sumter

SC BLUE RV Tour Stop, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Dec. 29-31, Doctors Care, 2475 Broad St. 

Rock Hill

Agent Open House, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Dec. 13, Hilton Garden Inn, 650 Tinsley Way 

SC BLUE RV Tour Stop, noon-6 p.m., Dec. 14, 2174 Cherry Hill Road 

SC BLUE RV Tour Stop, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Dec. 15-17, 2174 Cherry Hill Road

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