I already buy individual insurance. What do I need to know?
If you currently buy your own individual health insurance, starting October 1, 2013, you have a new option. You can purchase through the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Private Marketplace. Plans sold through the Marketplace must meet minimum essential coverage standards set by the federal government, but you may find your plan options limited. You can still purchase directly from an insurer, like BlueCross, or through an agent or a broker. Contact one of our representatives if you need help in selecting the plan that is right for your needs and budget. 1-800-832-1845, 8:30am – 5:30pm EST, Monday - Friday.
I have insurance at work. Do I need to do anything?
Your job-based health plan qualifies as minimum essential coverage. This means you do not need to change to a Marketplace plan in order to avoid the fee that uninsured people may have to pay in 2014. If you’d like to explore Marketplace coverage you can, but you may find that it’s not as extensive as your current plan. Plus, if the coverage your employer offers is considered affordable under the health care reform law and meets the minimum value set by the law, then you will not be eligible for financial help (savings on your premium or out-of-pocket costs) if you buy your own coverage from the Marketplace.
I heard I have to buy health insurance online.
What does that mean?
The Health Insurance Marketplace is an online tool run by the federal government that allows you to compare and purchase plans. You can also see if you are eligible for financial help to pay your premiums or out-of-pocket costs. If you choose to use the Marketplace, your transaction will occur online. However, you still have the option to go through an agent, a broker or direct from the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Private Marketplace.
Are premiums going to be higher than they are now?
This depends on what type of health insurance plan you choose and whether or not you qualify for financial help. Affordable Care Act-compliant plans are required to have standardized benefits, so it’s possible that they will cost more than your current plan. But this is not true for every case.