Obamacare in South Carolina

Health Insurance

November 1, 2017

Known for its rich Southern history, South Carolina was the eighth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution and the first state to secede from the Union during the Civil War. Today, South Carolina features a mix of bustling city centers, beautiful greenery and stunning beaches. Since 1964, the state has been primarily conservative, voting for Republican presidential candidates in 13 of the last 14 elections. South Carolina challenged the Affordable Care Act and opted out of expanding Medicaid. Compared to the general population in the U.S., South Carolinians are far more likely to be uninsured due to economic reasons. As of 2015, approximately 600,000 nonelderly residents remain uninsured.

Enrollment through the Years

Residents who wish to sign up for Obamacare in South Carolina can use the federal marketplace. Enrollment increased between 2015 and 2016, and declined in the year 2017. Overall, though, the state has seen an increase in enrollment over the last three years.

  • 210,331 South Carolinians enrolled in 2015
  • 231,849 South Carolinians enrolled in 2016
  • 230,211 South Carolinians enrolled in 2017

In 2017, there were 74,006 new enrollees and 156,205 return customers on the exchange. South Carolina’s numbers may have declined between 2016 and 2017 due to political uncertainty surrounding the election. People ages 55-64 were the most likely to sign up for Obamacare in South Carolina.

Cost Assistance

Nearly one in five South Carolina residents is poor, making healthcare a primary concern for many residents. Many low-income adults are unable to receive Medicaid due to the state’s rejection of the expansion, but some residents may qualify for assistance or subsidies if choosing a marketplace plan.

Premium tax credits are available for those who make between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. For those who earn up to 250 percent of the poverty limit, additional cost-sharing reductions are available to offset out-of-pocket healthcare costs for the year. In 2017, 88 percent of marketplace enrollees received a subsidy while 70 percent benefited from cost-sharing reductions.

Carrier Participation & Plan Availability

Just one insurance carrier offered coverage in 2017 in South Carolina, and the same holds true for next year. Many speculated that insurance providers left the state due to the large number of elderly applicants, who tend to have greater health care needs. In 2017, residents had 1,196 plans to choose from when shopping the marketplace. The number of available plans varies by county.

Note: The information provided on this page is constantly being updated with the latest statistical data available. Check back soon for updates.