Insurance companies gearing up for next phase of Affordable Care - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Insurance companies gearing up for next phase of Affordable Care Act

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Starting in January over 750,000 South Carolinians who are uninsured will be required to buy health insurance.

As part of the Affordable Care Act, states are required to set up health insurance marketplaces to help those who don't have health insurance. For those who don't buy health insurance, they can face a $95 fine.

"There's going to be many more consumers in this market, and there are studies and data out there that shows the consumer really doesn't understand or have a good view of what this means for them," Senior VP of BlueCross BlueShield Terry Peace said.

Recently, insurance companies have set up store fronts to better connect consumers with the health coverage they want and will soon be required to get.

"We can help people navigate through the exchanges," Peace said. "Some people like to purchase face to face."

According to a study with the Kaiser Family Foundation, insurance premiums could be lower than expected.

"The younger, healthy people, who choose appropriately to purchase insurance through the exchanges, will lower the rate or cost for everyone," said Dr. Bruce Snyder, president of the SC Medical Association.

BlueCross BlueShield plans to open several retail locations in the next two years. One is slated to open at the State Capitol.

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