Free In-Person Assistance Available During Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment Begins Sunday

Certified navigator Shiwuan Brown will be helping consumers in North Charleston on Sunday from noon - 5 p.m.
Certified navigator Shiwuan Brown will be helping consumers in North Charleston on Sunday from 12-5.

Palmetto Project’s signupSC network is celebrating the third open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act with several kick-off events.  The general public can drop in to ask questions about the Marketplace, compare and select a new health insurance plan, and get assistance with enrollment applications. Enrollees need to renew their plans by December 15 to make sure there is not a gap in their coverage at the start of the year.

Kick-off events on Sunday, November 1 are at the following locations:

  • Palmetto Project, 6296 Rivers Avenue, North Charleston, SC 29406,  12pm-5pm
  • Coastal Carolina Fair, Exhibit Building, Ladson Fairgrounds, SC 29456, 11am-11pm
  • Columbia Place Mall, Food Court, Columbia, SC 29201, 2pm-5pm

“We help people find quality, affordable health coverage. A lot of people don’t realize that financial assistance is available to lower monthly costs,” says Doris Jones, an enrollment assister serving Fairfield, Kershaw, Newberry and Richland counties.  Consumers can get more information or schedule an appointment with a certified enrollment assister in their local area by calling signupSC toll-free 1-888-998-4646 or visiting www.signupSC.org.

signupSC is committed to helping people find a plan that best meets their medical needs and family budget.  “We’re lucky to have a dedicated network of partners across the state.  There are enrollment assisters at health clinics, hospitals, and non-profit organizations to make sure we’re all educated about our healthcare options,” says Shelli Quenga, Palmetto Project’s director of programs.

Changes in income, family members or insurance status can affect the financial assistance enrollees receive.  Being proactive with annual health plan renewals is important, particularly as plans and prices change every year.  For example, in 2016, both Consumers’ Choice and Assurant will exit the marketplace and UnitedHealthcare will join the marketplace. Enrollment assisters can help consumers who already have marketplace coverage to make changes and renew coverage.

Through the Affordable Care Act, more than 209,000 South Carolinians were able to choose a health plan last year, and nearly 9 out of 10 received financial assistance and paid premiums of $100 or less each month. Nationally, more than 10 million Americans have gained health coverage, with the national uninsured rate dropping to less than 10% for the first time.

 

About signupSC

signupSC, an initiative of Palmetto Project, utilizes certified insurance navigators to provide free, local, confidential enrollment assistance to South Carolinians about their options for affordable health care coverage in both the Health Insurance Marketplace and SC Healthy Connections Medicaid. Palmetto Project works collaboratively with other agencies and organizations to share unbiased, accurate, and culturally competent enrollment information with people around the state.

About the Palmetto Project

Palmetto Project is a statewide nonprofit organization whose mission is to identify innovative approaches to social and economic challenges facing South Carolina. Through special partnerships with governments, businesses, civic groups, schools, and religious organizations, Palmetto Project strives to bring a fresh entrepreneurial spirit to the challenge of building successful communities in a great state. For more information, call (843) 577-4122 or visit www.PalmettoProject.org.