New figures released by the US Department of Health and Human Services bring the SC total enrollments to 210,331 as of 2/22/15. With nearly 9 out of 10 South Carolinians qualifying for financial assistance to purchase affordable plans, it is a great day in South Carolina for the newly insured. Click here to see the press release highlighting the results of 2015 open enrollment or click here to see the national report released earlier this week.
“But that number will change if consumers do not make their first premium payment to secure their 2015 health insurance coverage,” said Palmetto Project’s Shelli Quenga, who heads up the organization’s statewide signupSC health insurance enrollment efforts. This year, consumers must pay the first month’s premium payment to secure their coverage for the rest of the year. Consumers who enrolled in coverage during the days leading up to March 1, should have already paid their first month’s premium or be hounding their insurance carrier to get a statement and get the bill paid.
“With so many consumers enrolling in the final week of open enrollment, some of the carriers are struggling to get statements out in a timely fashion,” she said. But consumers must remain vigilant, keep copies of all payment receipts, and stay on top of this bill. If the first payment is missed, then consumers lose their coverage and have no way to re-enroll for 2015 coverage. That could mean a financial penalty will be assessed for the 2015 tax year, and the consumer is left without health insurance coverage for emergencies, medications, preventive care, and treatment.
If you’re having problems understanding how to make your payments, or there are coverage verification issues even after you’ve made your payment, you’re not on your own trying to figure these types of problems out. Certified insurance navigators and enrollment assisters around the state are available to help you unravel these challenges. Call the Palmetto Project’s toll-free insurance enrollment hotline at 1-888-998-4646 to get answers or schedule an appointment by phone or online.