3 State-Based Insurers to Sell Plans on South Dakota Health Insurance Exchange

The South Dakota Division of Insurance has certified three health insurance companies to sell on the South Dakota health insurance exchange when it opens for business on October 1. The three companies, Sanford Health Plan, DAKOTACARE, and Avera Health Plans, are all based in the state and will offer health plans for both individuals and small businesses. The plans must still be approved by the federal government before they can be offered through the South Dakota health insurance marketplace. This approval is expected to come in late August or early September.

Joining the companies offering health insurance on the South Dakota health insurance exchange will be companies offering dental insurance. Those companies are Dentegra, Delta Dental and Best Life and Health, all of whom will be offering both individual and small group dental plans. The Guardian Life will also offer dental plans, but to small groups only. Rates for all plans are available on the Division of Insurance’s website.

South Dakota health insurance exchange is run by federal government and enrollment will start Oct 1, 2013 for benefit year starting Jan 1, 2014. First enrollment period will be 6 month long ending in march, 2014. The exchange or marketplace has a website that will allow individuals and small businesses to easily compare health plans and see what coverage they offer in a standard format. All fine prints are clearly disclosed in a easy to understand format.

Outreach Programs Underway

While residents of South Dakota can begin enrolling in plans through the South Dakota health insurance marketplace beginning on October 1, many have not even heard of the Affordable Care Act, much less know how to enroll in it. One reason for this lack of knowledge is because the state has elected to have the federal government develop and run the exchange. This choice reduced the amount of federal money that can be used for outreach programs. The state will, however, continue to regulate insurance companies that sell plans on the South Dakota health insurance exchange.

Even so, six health care groups that received a portion of the $150 million grant money allocated by the federal government for outreach purposes are preparing to assist people in complying with the mandate that requires every American to be covered under a qualified health plan or be subject to an annual fine. These health care groups plan to hire 10 more employees to assist more than 8,000 people with the enrollment process.

South Dakota Health Insurance Exchange Health Center Grants

Federal Subsidies Will Be Available

Many people will not have to pay for the entire cost of the premiums, though, since they will receive federal subsidies to help. 90 percent of the 92,441 South Dakota residents who are currently uninsured will qualify for these tax credits to allow them to purchase health insurance coverage through the South Dakota health insurance exchange. Unfortunately, South Dakota has elected not to expand Medicaid, which will leave some people ineligible for both the exchange and the government program.

A large portion of South Dakota residents who already have insurance are likely to find better options through the South Dakota health insurance exchange. Not only will they have more choices, but they will also have better coverage as well. All insurers offering plans on the health insurance exchange must offer at least a Silver Plan and a Gold Plan, with some choosing to offer Bronze and Platinum Plans. While all plans must cover specific essential benefits, some will offer additional services that South Dakota residents can choose to augment their coverage.

To learn more about ObamaCare in general go  here to see more articles. Also to find out how ObamaCare affects small businesses go to this section. For consumers this section will provide more articles on how ObamaCare affects them.

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