A Guide to Health Insurance in South Carolina (SC)
When you start to look into getting a South Carolina Health Insurance Plan, then you very quickly realize that getting a comprehensive policy at an affordable price is going to be a challenge.
The cost of health insurance in South Carolina has more than doubled in the last ten years, as health care costs continue to rise and the expenses associated with a stay in hospital approaches fantasy levels.
If you find yourself in the position that you or a member of your family have to have treatment in hospital and you don’t have South Carolina Health Insurance already arranged, then the bill for the treatment could well both take your breath away and push you into bankruptcy.
The cost of basic diagnostic procedures in hospitals like MRI Scans, X-Rays and blood tests will typically run into the thousands of dollars, and if you find that you need to have an overnight stay in hospital or more serious or lengthy treatment then the costs can be staggeringly high.
There are many types of surgery that now cost over $500,000 once you have factored in the costs of rehabilitation, follow up treatments and prescription drugs. So without a health insurance plan that covers you for these you could well face some nasty financial choices once you have recovered.
Additionally, the fact is that whilst emergency treatment should be provided regardless of your health insurance situation (and 19% of people didn’t have any health insurance in South Carolina in 2011), that often the first things that hospital staff are looking for when you come in to the ER is not your pulse, but your insurance card, and without it you can expect to experience some uncomfortable realities when you look to get care.
So, buying South Carolina Health Insurance is a MUST, and here are five tips for when you are looking to buy insurance in The Palmetto State:
1/ Check that any insurance companies and insurance agents you use are properly licensed
If you decide to get your cover through an insurance agent, rather than quickly and efficiently online, then at least make sure with the South Carolina Department of Insurance that they are properly licensed to sell insurance in the State.
Doing this ensures that you are properly protected and are getting advice that is based on proper knowledge of the market.
You should also do this for any insurance companies that you are considering buying a policy with.
2/ Ask Questions and Shop Around
You should be as inquisitive as possible when seeking out your South Carolina Health Insurance Cover and be sure to ask a variety of questions about potential policies.
It is far easier to change your mind and get a new policy BEFORE you have bought it then after, and so asking questions and shopping around with different policy providers can save you from buying the wrong policy and then having to change it in the future.
3/ Check the Application Fine Print
There has been a worrying trend in recent years for products that are actually not proper health insurance to pass themselves off as such.
The reason for this is that health insurance in South Carolina is expensive and that everyone loves the idea of getting a bargain deal on cover, and that can sometimes blind them to the reality of what is being offered.
By shopping around you can get better deals and save money, but you are not going to find dramatic reductions, because hospital treatment is expensive, and the premiums have to cover that fact.
One sure way of telling when a product seems too good to be true is to carefully read the application form, and check for such phrases as, “This product is not insurance, and is not intended to replace insurance”, or words to that effect.
“Health Insurance” has entirely different (and stricter) regulations then other types of cover that purports to be covering your health in some way, and so make sure you know exactly what you are buying.
The fine print is very often the only place where truth is written in these products, and you may need your magnifying glass to read it! But take the effort to do so, because disclaimers exist to stop these companies falling foul of the law because essentially often their actual marketing does not reveal the real truth of what they are selling.
Also, don’t sign anything unless you are very clear of exactly what you are buying.
4/ Pay Money to the Company, NOT the Insurance Agent
If you do buy your South Carolina Health Insurance through an insurance agent then be aware that any checks you write for the premiums should be payable directly to the company, and not the agent.
Make sure to write your policy number on the back of the check, so that linking the two together is made easier if the check gets mislaid or separated from your application documentation.
If you have taken the trouble to check out both the insurance agent and insurance companies financial credentials through credit ratings agencies, or with the South Carolina Insurance Department directly, then hopefully you will be able to see potential problems BEFORE they occur.
5/ Get Receipts for your Payments
It is also a good idea to get proper receipts for all the premium payments that you make, even if you pay by check.
This is useful for both your own records, and also to back up that you did in fact make a payment if there are ever any disputes about premiums.
The last thing you want is for the insurance company to claim that a premium was not received at exactly the same time as needing cover!
Make sure that the receipts include the date the payment was made, your insurance policy number, and other details such as the name of your insurance agent and the name of the insurance company.
If you do proper research and take sensible precautions then getting a Comprehensive South Carolina Health Insurance Plan that meets all your needs at a sensible price is perfectly achievable.