SC may see higher health care rates under Affordable Care Act

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - You may have to dig a little deeper into your wallets for individual health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. That's if estimates from the State Department of Insurance are correct.

Early estimates show a possible increase in average rates by 50-70% for individuals and 10-20% for some businesses.

This applies to anyone who will sign up for health insurance through President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

Right now these are only estimates collected from a review of health insurance forms and rates for carriers who are looking to get federal certification.

This will allow the companies to sell their plans in open exchange programs.

As previously reported, beginning October 1st you'll be able to enroll in an insurance plan through these exchanges if you aren't already covered.

Governor Nikki Haley says we won't know for sure what the rates will be until it happens.

"What they are is estimates and so I don't think it's farfetched when they say it could be up to 70% increases. It's enough to let everybody know this is something to worry about," Haley said, "What I do know for South Carolina is it's going to be people and families first. It's going to be outcomes for health care so that we know we are doing everything we can to keep people healthy."

These rates could be higher or lower depending on the plan you choose, your age, smoking status and many other factors.

Under the Affordable Care Act everyone must have health insurance starting next near. If not, you will face penalties for not being covered. Starting October 1st you can enroll by visiting