Since 2010 and the introduction of the Affordable Care Act it is compulsory for all U.S. citizens to have some form of health insurance. If you already have insurance, or are looking to upgrade your current policy, the best place to start your search for medical insurance in South Carolina, as in many states, is through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
South Carolina Insurance Marketplace
Operated by the federal government, the Marketplace (also known as the Exchange) is for South Carolina residents who are seeking first time insurance, are not covered by Medicare, are self-employed or who may have had trouble finding a suitable policy with private insurance companies for various reasons.
Having health insurance from a company like carolina-insurance.net is now compulsory but acquiring your policy through the Marketplace is not. You are quite free to buy private insurance through one of the many companies offering this service in South Carolina but, as most of these insurers are already part of the Marketplace, it makes good sense to take this route to get the best policy at the best price. Also, if you are already covered through Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE programs or through your job, an additional policy through the Marketplace is not necessary.
In a so-called paperless society there are always forms to be filled out and acquiring medical insurance in South Carolina is no different. Basically, the forms will require the following:
- Social Security Number. The most important item as without a social security number you legally don’t exist. If you hold legal immigrant status, then your document number will be required.
- W-2 Forms. Wage slips, pay stubs and tax statements for all family members in employment. For the self-employed, or those with irregular work patterns, a statement of the estimated annual household income.
- Insurance Policy Details. The policy numbers and details of any existing health insurance coverage held by all members of the household.
- Immigration or Citizenship Status. Any and all details relating to your current standing as regards immigration or applications for U.S. citizenship.
- Tobacco Usage. Although some states have dropped penalties for smokers, South Carolina is not one of them and a regular smoker may see his monthly premiums bumped up by as much as 50%.
Under the auspices of the Affordable Care Act, all U.S. citizens under the age of 65 are legally entitled to medical insurance. Insurance premiums cannot be increased because of gender or a pre-existing medical condition although insurers can (and do) charge more dependent upon your age, the number of family members, area of residence and tobacco usage.
These are all important criteria in determining the level of coverage you require and it is highly inadvisable to lie about any as this will invariably invalidate any claim you may make. That being said, medical insurance in South Carolina is now a legal requirement and, since the introduction of Obamacare, is both affordable and worth having for peace of mind alone.