Most of us get our health insurance through work or programs like Medicare, Medicaid or TRICARE. However, roughly 225,000 of us depend on the individual market for health-care coverage.
For those individuals and families, now is the time to pay attention. There is a period each fall called the Open Enrollment Period, the only time to shop for health insurance for the following calendar year. This shopping window opened Nov. 1 and closes Dec. 15 for health plans that start Jan. 1, 2021.
If you need health insurance for yourself or your family, you can go online to healthcare.gov to shop for plans. You also can contact a local health insurance agent or one of the companies selling this coverage directly.
Anderson County has two carriers offering major medical coverage through the Federal Marketplace in 2021: BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and Bright Health.
Plans and prices can change each year, so even individuals and families who already have a plan in place should shop during this time.
Make sure you look at more than just the price. You’ll want to check out the provider network and your out-of-pocket costs, like the deductible, co-pays, and co-insurance, to get the whole picture before you select a plan.
And remember, you must pay your first month’s premium for your plan to go into effect. Your health plan will send you a bill to let you know what you owe, so be sure to check your mail after you enroll.
If you have questions or want more information, you can visit doi.sc.gov/aca or visit the Federal Marketplace at healthcare.gov.
Ray Farmer is director of the Department of Insurance, a state agency charged with regulating the insurance industry in South Carolina.
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