There are many affordable health insurance plans available in South Carolina that will meet your specific requirements. Most of these plans will include options to add dental and vision insurance. Coverage and rates vary depending on your age, gender, household size, and other factors, with the cheapest health insurance plans starting at $344 per month, dental add-ons starting at $44 per month, and vision plans starting at just $16 per month! A full-coverage health insurance plan will cost residents an average of $435 per month, but some may qualify for free plans.
South Carolina Health Insurance Companies
South Carolina has several options when it comes to health insurance carriers, all of which offer affordable plans. We’ve highlighted the most popular companies in the state:
Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina
Blue Cross Blue Shield takes pride in offering low-cost individual policies, many of which have options for higher deductibles and coinsurance percentages, but lower premiums. They also give you access to one of the most extensive state networks in South Carolina. That means you’ll be able to find a doctor near you no matter where you live.
Ambetter/Absolute Total Care
The plans offered by Absolute Total Care include discounts for taking proactive steps to improve your health, such as joining a gym or losing weight.
This carrier’s Ambetter Telehealth service allows you to call a doctor at any time of day or night, and its online resources let you quickly see which prescription drugs are covered by each plan. If you take a higher-tier prescription medication that isn’t covered by other insurance plans, Ambetter’s plans might be right for you.
Health Insurance Marketplace in South Carolina
If you’re looking for health insurance in South Carolina, the health insurance Marketplace is a great place to start. During the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) you can purchase Marketplace health insurance, which was created by the Affordable Care Act, offers certain consumer protections, guarantees coverage for pre-existing conditions, and includes coverage for what are known as the “10 essential health benefits”:
- Ambulatory patient services (outpatient care)
- Emergency services
- Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care (both before and after birth)
- Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment (including counseling and psychotherapy)
- Prescription drugs
- Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices
- Laboratory services
- Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
- Pediatric services, including oral and vision care (but adult dental and vision coverage aren’t essential health benefits)
The ACA-compliant plans offered on the Marketplace are divided into different types, known as metal tiers: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. These tiers do not signal a difference in quality of care, though. The tiers differ in your out-of-pocket costs versus what your plan covers.
It’s important to remember that the Marketplace only offers the plans of participating providers. So unfortunately, while the Marketplace is a great tool, you may not be able to compare every plan available to you.
Whether you want a Marketplace plan, or a plan from a private insurer, an EZ agent can help. We work with all carriers in your state to compare all options available.
South Carolina’s Short Term Health Insurance Guidelines
If you’ve missed the health insurance Open Enrollment Period (OEP), or if you need health insurance for a short amount of time, short-term plans are a great option. It’s important to note, though, that these policies tend to only cover the basics, and you can be denied one of these plans if you have a pre-existing condition.
There are some rules around short-term plans, both at the federal and the state level. Some states choose to have their own guidelines separate from federal guidelines, or to not offer short-term plans at all. If you buy a short-term plan in South Carolina, your plan’s initial term will be 11 months, but you can renew that plan up to 3 times, giving you 33 months of coverage. You can purchase a new plan once your 33 months are up.
South Carolina Health Insurance Options
Before selecting a health insurance plan in South Carolina, it is important to understand the various types of plans available. South Carolina residents can look into a variety of plan types and utilize multiple resources to find the right coverage.
- Individual plans – The companies listed above are just a few of the many insurers that provide health insurance in South Carolina. One of their plans will provide coverage for you and your family. You can shop for plans directly from their websites.
- Employer-sponsored – Group health insurance is commonly less expensive than an individual plan, so check with your employer to see what they have to offer.
- Government assistance – Medicaid allows low-income individuals and families to obtain low-cost or even free health insurance. But to be considered for these plans, you must meet certain income requirements. Medicare offers low-cost health plans for individuals over 65 or adults with certain disabilities.
Your best resource when it comes to finding a plan is an insurance agent. Getting help from an EZ agent can save you a lot of time and effort no matter which path you take. EZ’s agents are highly trained and can assist you in comparing every available plan so make sure you get one that fits your needs.
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How to Get the Most Savings
South Carolina is in the middle of the spectrum in terms of healthcare spending per capita. It’s ranked 29th out of the 50 states, with an annual healthcare cost of around $8,362 per person. But despite the relative affordability of your state, it’s still important to do everything you can to save money without sacrificing coverage.
Your health has a significant impact on your insurance premiums. In South Carolina, 35.4% of adults are obese, and if you’re in this group, you could end up paying a lot more for your insurance. So, one way to save money is to maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI).
Another red flag for insurance companies is tobacco use – in fact, smoking can increase your insurance premiums by up to 50%! Consider quitting: you’ll save money on your insurance, your healthcare costs in general, and on tobacco products! And since smoking can lead to so many health complications, quitting can improve your health as well.
While those two factors are important things to consider when it comes to saving money on your insurance, working with an agent is the quickest and easiest way to save. An EZ agent will evaluate your needs and budget, as well as find local discounts that you might be unaware of. We can do this in minutes, and the best part is that there is no cost or obligation on your part. You don’t have to do this alone; start saving right away!
South Carolina Health Insurance FAQS
Does South Carolina require you to have health insurance?
No, there is no law requiring residents to have health insurance, and as of 2019, there is no longer a federal tax penalty for not having coverage.
What is the cheapest health insurance in South Carolina?
The cheapest health plan will be a Bronze plan, which can start as low as $344 a month. Remember, though, health insurance plan prices can vary depending on age, zip code, gender, and many other factors.
How much does health insurance cost in South Carolina?
The average monthly premium for health insurance in South Carolina is $435, or $5,220 per year, with plans as low as $344 a month to as high as $985.
Which insurance companies offer plans in South Carolina?
The top 4 insurers in South Carolina are Ambetter/Absolute Total Care, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Bright, and Molina.
How to Enroll in Health Insurance in South Carolina
There are several ways to enroll in a health insurance plan in South Carolina. South Carolina does not have a state-run exchange, so you can check out the federal exchange, and compare plans from state insurers by visiting the Health Insurance Marketplace. Additionally, you can enroll straight from the website of your selected carrier. But the carrier’s website will only have their specific plans available. Another option is to sign up through your workplace; their plans tend to be more affordable than individual or family plans.
Whether you want to enroll through the exchange, directly through an insurance company, or through your employer, an EZ agent can help! Our experts can help you compare plans to ensure you’re making the best decision, as well as walk you through the enrollment process. We can locate any discounts or programs you’re eligible for, and we’ll always provide answers to all of your questions. Enrolling in health insurance can be difficult; let an EZ representative ease your concerns and get you the coverage you need.
If you still have questions, feel free to give us a call at 877-670-3557. When you call, you will be directly connected to a local insurance agent who can answer all of your questions and help you find the health insurance plan that works best for you and your family.