Changes Coming to Healthcare in South Carolina

October 17, 2017, 9:19 am EST | Share:

CHARLESTON, SC (MEGAN RIVERS, WTAT-TV) — Changes are coming to the Affordable Healthcare Act after President Trump signed two executive orders – something that will impact many Americans, including people here in South Carolina.

About 231,000 South Carolinians are currently enrolled in healthcare through the Affordable Care Exchange.

Shelli Quenga, Director of Programs for the Palmetto Project, says the enrollment process for people in our state will change this year. “Where we had 62 navigators planned for this year, we will now only have 30,” she said.

Budgeting across the board has been slashed. “The President also cut the budget for the in-person navigators, like our staff.”

Changes that will force Palmetto Project to drastically decrease their staff. “Our staff was cut 54 percent,” Quenga says.

In years past, navigators were placed in all 46 counties across South Carolina, now, there will only be navigators in 17 counties.

Those in need of assistance will be able to get in-person help here in the tri-county area, but not in neighboring counties like Georgetown and Williamsburg.

“People in rural areas are going to be hard pressed to find in person assistance.” Quenga said. And your time to make a decision on a plan is also among the cuts.

“We’ve only got 45 days total,” Quenga says. “They’ve also announced the system is going to be down every Sunday. They are also going to be down on November 1, 2017, the very first day of open enrollment. It’s supposed to go down at midnight.”

Navigators are already in place in all Lowcountry counties. If you need help selecting a plan, call 1-888-998-4646. Open enrollment begins November 1st and runs through December 15th.