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Tag Archives: health insurance

Blue Cross Blue Shield South Carolina 2016 health plans

14 Oct , 2015,
jtdickerson
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Blue Cross Blue Shield South Carolina 2016 health plan update: BlueEssentials

Earlier this week, the SChealthconnector team got a sneak peak of the NEW Blue Cross Blue Shield South Carolina 2016 health plans, marketed under the BlueEssentials label.

Consumer Choice Health Plan

So far, we have been very impressed with what we have seen! Blue Cross Blue Shield is one of the largest health insurers in the state of South Carolina, and is the only health insurer in South Carolina with an A.M. Best rating of A+ (Superior).

New for 2016: Dental and Vision Coverage on all Plans

All BlueEssentials 2016 plans include dental allowance for adults and children for exams and cleaning:

  • One exam every six months, $27 allowance first visit and $20 on the second visit.
  • One cleaning every six months, $40 allowance for adults over the age of 20, and $31 for a child.

Members are responsible for paying any additional balance for what is not covered. Members will submit a dental reimbursement form to Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina for reimbursement.

Vision Benefits for children and adults, including low copayments on vision examsand discounts on lenses, frames and contacts:

Members Ages 20 and Older

  • One exam per benefit period with a $20 copayment for VSP provider
  • Frames and lenses options covered at a 20% discount
  • Contacts covered at a 20% discount

Members Age 19 or Younger

  • One exam per benefit period with a $25 copayment
  • $50 copayment on eye glasses every year and frames every two years

The vision network includes over 400 providers throughout South Carolina

New for 2016: Wellness Plus

We were extremely excited to find out that all Blue Cross Blue Shield BlueEssentials plans will offer the Wellness Plus benefit for 2016. Wellness Plus covers up to $500 for services not covered under your standard preventative doctor visits. Per BlueCross BlueShield South Carolina, this benefit is designed to help members with services normally considered “preventative” that fall outside of the PPACA prescribed preventative services list.

More competitive rates for 2016

As recently reported by the tireless folks over at ACAsignups.net, the South Carolina Department of Insurance recently released sample 2016 marketplace rates for the SC marketplace and rates for Blue Cross Blue Shield South Carolina 2016 health plans look extremely competitive! According to the data, BlueEssentials Silver plans appear to be the benchmark plan in many South Carolina counties!

 

Consumers Choice Health Plan of SC beats projections.

4 Aug , 2015,
jtdickerson
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As recently reported by various news sources, a recent audit by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General has revealed that 22 out of the 23 health insurance Co-Op’s formed as a result of the Affordable Care Act “Obamacare”, lost money in 2014.

What many of these articles fail to mention, however, is that here in South Carolina, Consumers Choice Health Plan has actually beat projections! As reported in the HHS OIG audit, as of 12/31/2014 net income for Consumers Choice Health Plan was -$3,808,177. Consumers Choice Health Plan South CarolinaWhat is important to note, however, is that projected net income for CCHP-SC was -$8,135,435. This means that Consumers Choice beat expectations by just over $4.3 million! This is obviously a positive development, and will hopefully prove to enhance competition and choice of health plans for South Carolina residents!

Consumers Choice Health Plan – Looking forward

It is also important to note that, looking forward, initial projections called for Consumers Choice to expect a net loss of $3,852,901 for 2015. Based on initial projections, Consumers Choice is not expected to turn a profit of $1,050,934 for 2016. Of course, given past performance in 2014, reality may be more optimistic. As most industry experts agree, sustainability in health insurance markets is not achieved overnight. A health plan must make incremental improvements to maintain sustainability, while providing quality and value for their membership. Given the positive results so far, we hope that Consumers Choice Health Plan can maintain its positive growth, and provide quality health plan options for South Carolina residents.

Read the full audit here.

If you need help getting enrolled with Consumers Choice Health Plan, please call us directly at 843-882.7062!

2015 South Carolina Health Insurance Rate Increases

13 Oct , 2014,
jtdickerson
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2015 South Carolina Health Insurance Rate Increases

If you received a HIGH RATE INCREASE, CLICK HERE TO SHOP FOR A NEW PLAN!

On Friday, October 10, 2014, the South Carolina Department of Insurance released a summary of 2015 South Carolina health insurance rate increases for each insurer in South Carolina. Overall, it appears that the average increase across all South Carolina health plans will be approximately 1%, as reported by Charleston’s Post & Courier. At the surface, it appears this is very good news for South Carolina residents fearing a big rate increase for 2015.

2015 South Carolina Health Insurance Rate Increases: A Deeper look.

Of course, the 1% overall increase doesn’t tell the entire story. Currently, the SC Department Of Insurance has not released detailed rate information, however, as your #1 South Carolina Obamacare Agent, SChealthconnector has been tracking these rate increases very closely. Using data we have collected in addition to rate filing information released by the SC DOI we would like to provide our readers with as much rate data as possible. Before we get started, it is important to note that in South Carolina, insurers can charge different amounts via county and via plan. For example, an insurer could raise a Gold plan rate in Orangeburg, while also lowering Silver plan rates in Orangeburg. Rate increases and decreases are very specific and many insurers have numerous plans in each metal category (Bronze, Silver, Gold)!

The first thing that caught our eye on the DOI rate release was the wide variation in rates with Consumers Choice Healthplan rate decrease minimum of -35.00% and rate increase maximums of 38.50%. I suspect the -35% rate DECREASES to affect South Carolina counties where Consumers Choice was renting the Medcost network for 2014. Renting provider networks is a very pricey proposition. Time/Assurant is another insurer that rents their provider network, and as we can see in the SC DOI rate information, it is reflected in rate increases of 7%-35% for Assurant. The average increase for Assurant was 21%, according to the published figures.

One bright spot of the 2015 South Carolina health insurance rate increase data are actually a couple of DECREASES! Overall, the SCDOI is reporting an average DECREASE of -2.11% for Bluechoice and -2.34% for Bluecross. We have also been told that both companies will offer family plans for 2015. For 2014, Bluecross and Bluechoice only offered individual plans, much to our dismay. I will also note that I am expecting another major announcement from Bluecross and Bluechoice shortly regarding network expansion for 2015. Unfortunately, I cannot say anything further – stay tuned, or drop me and email, call or tweet to find out more.

Regarding Coventry, the 2015 SC health insurance rate increase summary indicates an average increase of 5.3% for Coventry Health Care. The biggest news for Coventry in South Carolina was the addition of marketplace plans in a few counties that only had Coventry plans available OFF MARKETPLACE for 2014. It appears York county and Lancaster county will now have Coventry plans offered on the marketplace, along with a few others.

South Carolina Health INsurance rate increases

York county will have new health plan options on the marketplace for 2015!

Coventry was the first insurer to begin sending out rate change letters to South Carolina residents for 2015. Based on what I have seen so far, it appears that in the lowcountry, Coventry’s Gold plans are running approximately 10.81% and Coventry’s lowest price Bronze plan option appears to be running approximately 3.87% higher based on renewal data we have collected so far. Based on detailed plan information we have been able to view so far, we do not anticipate major benefits changes for 2015, though Coventry has indicated the are making changes to their most popular plans (Silver and Bronze).

If you have questions about any of this, please drop us a line, call tweet, or like us on facebook.

 

SC Insurers not Cancelling Coverage

8 Jan , 2014,
jtdickerson
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This information comes to us from the South Carolina Department of Insurance, you can read the full press release here. Have questions about your current coverage? Contact us today for help! Of course, please note that this list does not include Carolina Care Plan / Medical Mutual of Ohio!

COMPANIES PARTICIPATING IN TRANSITIONAL RELIEF
In November 2013, a temporary reprieve was announced to permit the renewal of non-grandfathered health insurance plans that would otherwise be modified or terminated as a result of the 2014 market reforms provided for in the Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act. The South Carolina Department of Insurance worked with carriers to prevent further market disruption and provide guidance to issuers interested in participating in this transitional relief policy.

Obamacare delayed in SC

As a result of this action, 11 carriers with non-grandfathered policies covering 143,000 individuals in South Carolina elected to participate in transitional relief. Below is a
listing of companies (including phone numbers for consumer inquiries) that have elected to participate in the transitional relief plan and, thus, will offer individual and/or small group policyholders the opportunity to renew their non-grandfathered health
plan for an additional year. Pursuant to federal requirements, this offer is only applicable to non-grandfathered health plans that were in effect as of October 1, 2013 and that are renewed between January 1 and October 1, 2014.
Tips for Consumers: Participating carriers are required to provide notice to policyholders of the opportunity to renew their coverage under this transitional policy, so consumers should expect to hear directly from their carrier if they are offering renewal
of non-grandfathered plans.

Consumers are encouraged to contact their carrier with questions regarding whether they may continue their existing coverage. The Department’s Office of Consumer Services may be reached at 1 (800) 768-3467 for
assistance.

COMPANY NAME, CONTACT INFORMATION MARKET SEGMENT(S)

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Individual & Small Group
For Individuals: For Small Groups:
1 (800) 868-2500 ext. 46401 1 (800) 868-2500 ext. 41010
BlueChoice Health Plan of South Carolina Individual & Small Group
1 (866) 280-0766
Connecticut General Life Insurance Company* Individual
1 (877) 345-6756
Golden Rule Insurance Company* Individual
1 (800) 657-8205

Humana Insurance Company* Individual

1 (877) 222-0650

John Alden Life Insurance Company Small Group
1 (800) 328-4316
Mid-West National Life Insurance Company Individual
1 (800) 527-5504
The MEGA Life and Health Insurance Company Individual
1 (800) 527-5504
Time Insurance Company Small Group
1 (800) 328-4316
UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company Small Group
1 (888) 842-4571
UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company of the River Valley

Create your account at healthcare.gov – Video

15 Dec , 2013,
jtdickerson
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Today we begin the first in a series of videos designed to help you get started with the enrollment process at www.healthcare.gov. Today’s video will show you the process used to create your account at healthcare.gov. Check it out below:

As your #1 South Carolina Obamacare Agent we are committed to helping South Carolina residents find the best, most affordable coverage for your unique situation. As a licensed health insurance agent/broker for over 10 years, we have the experience needed to help you make the right decision. Many South Carolina residents will qualify for lower costs on their health insurance premiums through healthcare.gov. The first step to finding your health insurance coverage for 2014 is to create an account at create an account at healthcare.govcreate an account at healthcare.govhealthcare.gov. Not sure which plan to choose? Contact us today, and we can help you determine if you may qualify for a health insurance tax credit to lower your costs!

Why create your account at healthcare.gov?

By creating your account at healthcare.gov, you are just minutes away from determining if you qualify for a premium tax credit to reduce you health insurance costs. Many South Carolina residents who apply through healthcare.gov may also qualify for cost sharing subsidies. These tax credits and cost sharing reductions are only available for health insurance plans purchased through healthcare.gov. We can help you with the process! Get started today by watching our video and create your healthcare.gov account!

 Is it safe to create your account at healthcare.gov?

After the SC Department of Revenue breach in 2012, it is understandable that many SC residents are wary of their online privacy. While many people are worried about the security of their information at healthcare.gov, we would like to point out that identity theft happens all over the internet. If you use popular services such as Facebook, Google, or online banking, chances are your information is already readily available on the internet. We recommend everyone who uses the internet on a daily basis be wary of their personal information safeguards, use strong passwords, clear your browser cache regularly and use 2-step authentication where possible. As an online health insurance agent, I use a variety of security methods such as encryption, 2 step authentication, virus protection and strong passwords to ensure HIPPA compliance and my own personal data security.