MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina is driving an RV all around the state during the health insurance open enrollment period, trying to insure as many people as possible. With so much confusion in recent years regarding the Affordable Care Act, this camper serves as a safe haven for anyone with questions. It's estimated that nearly 400,000 thousand South Carolinians are currently without health insurance, and starting in 2016 the fines and penalties for people without coverage will more than double.
"Each year they've gone up a little bit, this year they've gone up significantly. So for example, a single guy, a single gal who chooses to not have health insurance, they're going to face a penalty of six hundred and ninety five dollars just for themselves." says Blue Cross of South Carolina spokesman Brian Scoles. "For a family of four, two minors in the household, two adults. That fine is going to be over two thousand dollars in costs. That equates to about six months' worth of health insurance premiums for one of our lower costs plans."
The RV will make stops all along the coast to help people get insured by 2016. Open enrollment began November 1st, and will end on January 31st and BCBS's BlueChoice HealthPlan is among the options for individuals seeking health insurance coverage.
Under the Affordable Care Act, the penalty for not purchasing health insurance rises significantly in 2016 to $695 per adult and $375 per minor in the household, according to a BCBS news release.
Agents at the BCBS RV in Myrtle Beach will be on hand to assist consumers in determining their subsidy level, how to renew their plan for next year, and other important points about Open Enrollment and the Affordable Care Act.
Below is a news release from BCBS with more details on Open Enrollment and their offered plan:
Columbia, S.C. – Open Enrollment for individual health insurance began Nov. 1, and BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina and BlueChoice® HealthPlan of South Carolina are ready to provide access to health care coverage at highly competitive rates.
It is estimated that more than 400,000 of the state's citizens are uninsured. BlueCross urges all South Carolinians to purchase insurance as required by the law or to do a health insurance checkup if they already have insurance. Both companies have increased the number of plans available, a number of which in the silver metal category have the lowest rates of any plan in many parts of South Carolina. BlueCross has 22 plans available, and BlueChoice® has 31 plans available. In addition, people currently receiving a subsidy to reduce monthly premiums should revalidate the subsidy amount for 2016.
"We are responding to the marketplace," said Jim Deyling, BlueCross president. "This year, we are increasing the number of health plans available to include even more competitively priced options."
The Affordable Care Act requires nearly everyone to have health insurance or face a significantly increased fine in 2016 that amounts to $695 per household adult and $347 per household child under 18, or 2.5 percent of household income, whichever is greater. People not already covered by a group plan or Medicaid must sign up for insurance during Open Enrollment Nov. 1-Jan. 31.
Sources for consumer information:
• Websites www.SouthCarolinaBlues.com and www.BlueOptionSC.com.
• Visit one of our SC BLUE? retail stores to speak face-to-face with an agent. Locations can be found at www.scblueretailcenters.com.
• Toll-free phone lines 877-313-2583 for BlueCross and 888-213-2460 for BlueChoice.
• Visit with an agent on one of two SC BLUE? RVs that will tour the state by calling 855-382-2583.
• Visit independent agents across the state, including some State Farm agents, as well as some Liberty Tax agents.
SC Blue RV Tour Stops
Aiken: Nov. 23-25 and Dec. 28-31, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Planet Fitness, 2531 Whiskey Road
Anderson: Dec. 7-12, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Doctors Care, 2126 N. Highway 81
Greenville: Dec. 13, noon-5 p.m., Dec. 16-17, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Jan. 11-16, 2016, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., SC BLUE? Retail Center (Magnolia Park Mall), 1025 Woodruff Road
Hardeeville: Nov. 9-14, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Walmart, 4400 U.S. 278
Myrtle Beach: Nov. 30-Dec. 5, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Jan. 4-9, 2016, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Doctors Care, 1221 21st Ave. North
North Charleston: Nov. 1, noon-5 p.m., Nov. 2-7, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Walmart, 7400 Rivers Ave.
Rock Hill: Dec. 13, noon-5 p.m., Dec. 14-17, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Jan. 18-23, 2016, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Doctors Care, 2174 Cherry Road
Spartanburg: Nov. 16-21, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Jan. 25-31, 2016, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Walmart, 141 Dorman Centre Drive