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South Carolina Health Insurance Information


Updated July 31, 2008

If you live in South Carolina, the following health insurance contact information may be helpful to you:

South Carolina Department of Insurance

The South Carolina Department of Insurance is responsible for regulating all types of insurance sold in the state of South Carolina -- including health insurance policies.

If you are looking for health insurance coverage, the Department of Insurance has a list of insurance companies licensed to sell individual policies in South Carolina.

If you are having trouble resolving a claims dispute with your insurer, you can file a complaint with the Department of Insurance. Download a complaint form and submit it to the Department of Insurance when you are ready.

South Carolina Department of Insurance
Street Address: 1201 Main Street, Suite 1000, Columbia, SC 29201
Mailing Address: Post Office Box 100105, Columbia, SC 29202
Phone: 803-737-6160
Fax: 803-737-6205
Email: info@doi.sc.gov

U.S. Department of Labor

If you get your insurance through your job, your plan is also regulated by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). They make and enforce the rules that your employer must follow when offering health insurance coverage to employees. For example, your employer cannot single out an individual employee to exclude her from the plan because she (or one of her dependents) has a costly illness. Also, if there are 20 or more employees at your job, you should be offered COBRA continuation coverage when you leave your job. The EBSA works to make sure that all of this happens and your rights are protected.

If you have concerns about your employer's practices in administering your job-based health coverage -- for example, if you think you should have been offered COBRA continuation coverage, but were not, or if you feel that you were wrongly terminated from your health plan -- contact your regional EBSA office.

U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration
Atlanta Regional Office
61 Forsyth Street, SW, Suite 7B54
Atlanta, GA 30303
Rebecca Marshall - Director
Phone: 404-302-3900 Fax: 404-302-3975

Buying Individual Policies in South Carolina

As a general rule, insurers in South Carolina are allowed to reject your application for coverage based on your health status. However, you may qualify for coverage as a "HIPAA-eligible" individual if you:

  • had at least 18 months of continuous creditable coverage, the last day of which was under a group plan
  • you have exhausted all COBRA continuation coverage which was available to you

People who are HIPAA-eligible are guaranteed the right to buy an individual policy from a private insurer. You can also buy insurance through the South Carolina Health Insurance Pool (described below). If you are not sure whether you are a HIPAA-eligible individual, your insurance agent or the South Carolina Department of Insurance can help you find out.

South Carolina Health Insurance Pool (SCHIP)

The South Carolina Health Insurance Pool offers coverage to individuals who are unable to purchase an individual health insurance policy because they have pre-existing health conditions. It also covers "HIPAA-eligible" individuals, as described above.

South Carolina Health Insurance Pool
Phone: 803-788-0500, ext. 46401 (Columbia) or 800-868-2500, ext. 46401 (Outside Columbia)

Healthy Connections Kids - The State Children's Health Insurance Program

Health Connections Kids is South Carolina's State Children's Health Insurance Program. It provides health insurance coverage for children whose family income meets certain guidelines.

Healthy Connections Kids
Phone: 877-552-4642

South Carolina State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

SHIP, also known as I-CARE (Insurance Counseling Assistance and Referrals for Elders Program), provides free one-on-one counseling for Medicare beneficiaries with questions about any aspect of Medicare, including the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit, or Medigap coverage.

Phone: See the SHIP/I-CARE site for regional contact information.

South Carolina Medicaid

Medicaid is a government program designed to help the poor and indigent obtain health care services. Pregnant women and children under age 19 who meet certain income requirements may be eligible for Medicaid coverage, along with aged, blind, and disabled individuals.

South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
P. O. Box 8206
Columbia, SC 29202-8206
Phone: 888-549-0820
Email: info@scdhhs.gov

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