Now in its 7th year, what’s new in the Healthcare Marketplace?

More than 200,000 working South Carolinians looked to the Affordable Care Act last year to gain access to health care they can afford. Nonprofit insurance experts at Palmetto Project are excited about 2020 coverage options now that open enrollment has begun. Free local help is available to SC residents from Palmetto Project’s team of insurance experts by calling 843-577-4122.

“82% of Marketplace consumers will be able to find 2020 plans with monthly premiums under $50 when they use their premium tax credit,” said Shelli Quenga, director of programs and a licensed insurance agent. Last year, 9 out of 10 South Carolinians qualified for financial help to lower the cost of the monthly premium, and just over half of shoppers were also able to get reduced care costs when they visited a healthcare provider, according to reports from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services that oversees the Marketplace.

Shoppers in Charleston County will be able to select a Qualified Health Plan from amongst a more crowded field now that there are three carriers offering plans in the Marketplace. BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is still the only carrier that will offer plans in all 46 SC counties. Ambetter, which offered plans only in Charleston County for 2019, is expanding its reach to 12 counties, including Berkeley and Dorchester. Molina is new to the Marketplace for SC shoppers, and will offer plans in 20 counties, including Charleston and Colleton.

Palmetto Project encourages consumers to get help before signing on the dotted line. “It’s been several years since we’ve had this many choices,” added Quenga, “It’s always been important to look beyond just the cost of the monthly premium. With more choices and new carriers, it’s even more important for consumers to verify that they can still see their doctors and afford their prescriptions.”

Last year, Palmetto Project transitioned its former grant-funded ACA navigator program into the nation’s first statewide nonprofit insurance agency to provide enrollment assistance for South Carolinians.

Insure SC, an initiative of Palmetto Project, works collaboratively with other agencies and organizations to share unbiased, accurate, and culturally competent health insurance information with people around the state. It is a one-stop shop for health coverage options including Medicaid, Medicare, Marketplace, and private insurance. All services are at no cost. It is the first nonprofit insurance agency in South Carolina, and the second in the nation. Palmetto Project is committed to all South Carolinians having access to quality, affordable preventive, primary, and specialty healthcare services.

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

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