SC BlueCross Only Health Plan Operating in All Counties for Open Enrollment

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Monday, October 29th, 2018

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, the only Affordable Care Act health insurance provider in every South Carolina county since 2016, is encouraging residents to sign up for health insurance during this year’s open enrollment period, which begins Thursday, Nov. 1 and ends Saturday, Dec. 15. The coverage becomes effective Jan. 1, 2019.

Every plan purchased comes with an opportunity for members to receive up to $150 for completing three healthy activities  through a program called BlueRewardsSM:  Once registered for the program, members can earn reward dollars by getting a flu shot, completing an annual physical and signing up for the telehealth platform Blue CareOnDemand℠. The money can be used toward copays, coinsurance and out-of-pocket expenses based on covered medical services, excluding pharmacy.

BlueCross is offering 24 plans on the health care exchange across the state and 28 plans in Charleston, Dorchester, Colleton and Berkeley counties.  Depending on a person’s income and eligibility for subsidies, someone could qualify for a plan as low as zero dollars. If they do not meet the zero dollar requirements, they could still qualify for a low premium. Almost 90 percent of BlueCross exchange members receive a subsidy, which lowers their monthly premium rate. Plans are labeled gold, silver or bronze. All plans cover the same essential health benefits, but the costs will vary based on the metallic level. Some options have lower copays, smaller deductibles and a variety of prescription drug benefits.

People who do not qualify for subsidies can purchase lower-priced silver plans, as well as other off-exchange insurance products, which offer a variety of benefit options and prices. All plans also offer several partner discounts, including Fitbit, weight management and gym memberships.

“There are only 45 days in the open enrollment period so we want to be available and helpful to everyone looking for protection against accidents and illness,” said Terry Peace, BlueCross senior vice president. “We have many ways people can sign up for health insurance, including visiting our stores in Columbia, Mount Pleasant and Greenville as well as our mobile retail center, which will be traveling the state. We want people to get the information they need to make good decisions for themselves and their families, and encourage them to meet with our staff or a local insurance agent, both of which are free services, and/or do their own research through our website.”