Gov. Haley speaks against Affordable Care Act, SC prepares for key deadline

Published: Sep. 9, 2013 at 9:40 PM EDT
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Supra, Haley and Keck
Supra, Haley and Keck

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The clock is ticking for the Affordable Care Act, which goes into effect next year.

Governor Nikki Haley doesn't support all of President Obama's plans for reform, but the state of South Carolina still has to go along with it.

"We've invested in ramping up our call centers because we think we're going to get a lot more calls whether they're supposed to come to us or not," said Tony Keck, director of the South Carolina Department Health and Human Services.

The next phase of the Affordable Care Act goes into affect October 1st.

It will feature what is called an exchange. An open marketplace where you, whether you have insurance or not, will be able to enroll in a health insurance plan or simply take a look at other options.

There are still many questions about how the law will affect the everyday person.

Governor Nikki Haley said, "I don't think any state or any governor knows exactly what we are walking into. What I do know for South Carolina is it's going to be people and families first. It's going to be at the pace of South Carolina, not at the pace of Washington DC."

Directors at the State Department of Health and Human Services say they will not do any marketing for the federal government but help will be offered.

"Our job is to really direct them to the right place. If they're eligible for the Medicaid program, we help them get enrolled; if they may be eligible for federal exchanges we show them the direction to get those benefits," said John Supra, deputy director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

South Carolina has chosen not to run its own exchange program, instead opting to use what's being set up at the federal government.

So how exactly is South Carolina going to reach out and educate people about the Affordable Care Act?

"I think as things happen, we'll continue to let everyone know what to expect and how to expect it. I think it's going to be up to businesses to educate their employees on what they're willing to do and what they're not," said Haley.

Employers must notify employees of your new options by October 1st. Governor Haley says the state will focus more on the outcome of your health care.

"It is not just are you going to do a state exchange or not, are you going to expand Medicaid or not. It's what are you going to do to get people healthy," said Haley, "We're focusing on the hospitals, we're focusing on the emergency rooms, we're focusing on making sure that they get major providers that can actually provide them health care instead of showing up in the emergency room."

To take a look at your options and even enroll in a health care plan you can visit

If you do choose to enroll, any new coverage won't start until January 1st of next year.

Copyright 2013 WCSC. All rights reserved.