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Palmetto Project to Lead Statewide Enrollment for the ACA

SignUpSCSeptember 2, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Shelli Quenga, 843-577-4122, ext. 119

 Palmetto Project to Lead Statewide Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act

South Carolina was in the top ten states for enrollment last year

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services announced today that non-profit Palmetto Project will repeat its role as the lead statewide Navigator for the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace over the next three years, after South Carolina ranked among the top ten states last year in signing up its eligible uninsured population. This year’s grant award is $1,123,916. The organization leads a coalition of state and community partners that provides public education and outreach, along with free in-person, online, over-the-telephone assistance, and consumer advocacy to South Carolinians in every county.

“Our numbers are high because so many South Carolinians originally thought they were not eligible for a Marketplace plan.  This was particularly true with small businesses, self-employed people, and historically marginalized populations,” said Shelli Quenga, the Palmetto Project’s Director of Programs.

“Most people in South Carolina enrolled directly at HealthCare.gov,” she added, “but many others had unique circumstances or had questions about eligibility, plan comparisons, Federal subsidies, and tax benefits.  We helped them with all of that.”

Open enrollment for the 2016 Health Insurance Marketplace begins Saturday, November 1, 2015 and ends January 31, 2016.  At other times, residents can enroll if they have had a recent life change that affects their health insurance coverage.  Eligible life changes that qualify someone for the Special Enrollment Period include job loss or other income change, loss of employer health insurance, birth of a baby, marriage or divorce, or aging out of coverage under a parent’s plan.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more than 209,000 South Carolinians were able to choose a health plan last year, and nearly nine out of ten received financial assistance and paid premiums of $100 or less each month.

Nationally, more than 10 million Americans have gained health coverage, with the national uninsured rate dropping to less than 10% for the first time.  The Health Insurance Marketplace helps uninsured people enroll in health coverage.  Consumers can get more information or schedule an appointment with a Certified Marketplace Navigator by calling signupSC toll-free at 1-888-998-4646 or visiting www.PalmettoProject.org.

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About signupSC

signupSC, a partnership of Palmetto Project, utilizes certified insurance navigators to provide free, local, confidential enrollment assistance to South Carolinians about their options for affordable health care coverage in both the Health Insurance Marketplace and SC Healthy Connections Medicaid. Palmetto Project works collaboratively with other agencies and organizations to share unbiased, accurate, and culturally competent enrollment information with people around the state.

About the Palmetto Project

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 www.PalmettoProject.org.

For information about the federal navigator grants in all 34 federally-facilitated and partnership states, click here.

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