South Carolinians Get Health Care Answers

The dust may have settled a little in the health care debate, but unanswered questions remain. Whether you are on Medicare, buy insurance on your own or through your employer, or cannot afford health insurance, the changes to the health care system will affect you. Columbia resident, Catherine Warner wants to know how much. She decided on what she calls a high-cost, poor-quality health insurance plan for her son, Jackson. “I still have to pay out of pocket for his well visits or basic, primary and preventative health care services,” said Warner. But she says it’s better than no health coverage at all. To find out how the new health care benefits might impact the 5-year-old, long-term, she joined about 40 other South Carolinians for a town hall meeting. Dr. John Rouff is the research director for South Carolina Fair Share. He and representatives from AARP, the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce and the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center hosted the healthcare forum Monday night. They attempted to tackle the perplexing issue, in layman’s terms. Here’s what South Carolinians can expect to see within 90 days, says Rouff. “Folks with pre-existing conditions or who are uninsured for a period, will have access to a high risk pool with fairly heavily-subsidized premiums they can actually afford. Young people in September will be able to stay on parents insurance until age 26.” Next year, he says, insurers will have to allocate 80-85% of premiums to actual health care, not just overhead and profits. They are all positives for Catherine Warner, who is a little less concerned about Jackson’s older years. Monique Williams reports. To see the complete the story, click on the Video Player icon under the News section. Future Town Halls on Healthcare sponsored by the South Carolina Healthcare Voices. The group is holding a forum in Rock Hill on Monday, April 19th from 6:00-7:30pm at The Executive Hall at The Freedom Center at 215 East Main Street. Another forum will be held in Greenville on Monday, April 26th from 6:00-7:30pm at Hughes Main Library at 25 Heritage Green Place.