Open enrollment available for health insurance, SC Hospital Association says ‘especially important this year’

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – For those who are uninsured or want to consider different health insurance plans, Open Enrollment for The Affordable Care Act Marketplace is available now through December 15.

Due to the pandemic and its impact on the labor market, more people have lost health insurance through their job.

Families and individuals under the age of 65 can access private health care through the Marketplace Open Enrollment. People over 65 are entitled to Medicare options.

The South Carolina’s Hospital Association (SCHA) recommends people evaluate and see whether or not they qualify.

“This is an important opportunity every year but especially this year,” Rozalynn Goodwin, the SCHA VP of Engagement said.

Marketplace insurance plans are based on two factors: income and family size.

“Say you make right at $13,000, you would qualify for a subsidy in the marketplace. You qualify for a tax credit. You can make up to 4 times that and still qualify for that,” Goodwin said.

Goodwin says she sees people hesitate when they have to go to the doctor and don’t have health insurance, which is why now more than ever, during a pandemic, she says people need healthcare.

“Not having to hesitate when not feeling well but having the assuring and security that I can just pick up the phone and go get this checked out,” Goodwin said.

Four South Carolina insurance companies will offer individual market plans for 2021. The average approved rate change is about a 1.5% decrease for 2021.

 Among the benefits sparking the most interest from employees or individuals generally, are medical, dental, and vision insurance. South Carolina’s Hospital Association (SCHA) says one of the greatest benefits to South Carolinians is preventive care. 

“You get well visits, age-appropriate screenings, whether it’s mammograms, breast exams, or prostate screenings, all of those are included, and they have to be included in Marketplace plans,” Goodwin said.

A recent survey by one of the largest life insurance corporations, Metlife, found that nearly 50% of responses said open enrollment is more important to them this year compared to last.

The majority said the main driver was COVID-19.

The deadline for Medicare enrollment is December 7. The local toll-free number, 888-998-4646, can help you navigate through the process and help make the best enrollment choice for you or your family.

To sign up, click here.

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