Open enrollment starts November 1st, but report shows many residents are uninsured

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A report by WalletHub found more than 10% of South Carolina residents did not have health insurance so far this year. Texas came in last on the list with 17% of its residents uninsured.

For now, the Affordable Care Act requires residents to have health insurance, which many people purchase through the federal exchange. It’s an online website where you can shop for health insurance. 

Ray Farmer. the director of the SC Department of Insurance said there are over 50 plans on the exchange, which means you’ll have to do your homework on what plans works best for you. 

The health insurance plans all come with different types of coverage at different price points. 

“The rate increase on average is fairly low at 5.2% compared to last year which was 31%,” added Farmer.
Director Farmer says the number of providers on the exchange has dropped drastically in the past 5 years. 

“We have 1 insurance company that is statewide. In the past we’ve had as many as 6 companies that write on the exchange. It’s brought us higher prices and more narrow networks.”

And some say those prices are keeping people away who’d rather take the risk of not being insured.

“Some people might argue I”m healthy, I haven’t had any problems,” said Robert Hartwig, a finance professor at the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business. 

A report by WalletHub found that almost 11% of South Carolina residents did not have health insurance.

Some because of costs others because of access.

Hartwig said South Carolina’s fight to not expand Medicaid plays a role in that number. 

“South Carolina and a number of other states simply did not expand Medicaid. That means there are many thousands of people that are not covered because of that.” 

The Affordable Care Act fined residents without insurance, but with a change to that mandate coming soon, some fear the number of uninsured residents will only increase. 

Hartwig added, “The individual mandate was repealed in 2017 effective in 2019.. so absolutely there is no question there is a certain portion of individuals who will decide not to purchase coverage.”

Open enrollment starts November 1st. 
    

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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