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How COBRA Insurance Works In South Carolina

South Carolina’s mini-COBRA law allows employees and their dependents to stay on their former employer’s health insurance coverage after a qualifying event, specifically for employers with less than 20 employees.

Former employees and dependents may use the group coverage continuing for the remaining fraction of the policy month plus an additional six policy months. The former employee or dependent must pay the full premiums during that time.

The federal COBRA law applies to companies with 20 or more employees and the South Carolina State Continuation of Health Insurance Coverage requires businesses with 19 or fewer employees to offer workers health insurance continuation.

COBRA Eligibility

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Continuing Health Insurance Coverage In South Carolina

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No Pre-Existing Conditions
Term Medical Gap Coverage

Available in some states, as low as $44/month

Coverage For
Pre-Existing Conditions

$400 – 700/month per individual

Nearing Retirement Age

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South Carolina’s Mini-COBRA Law

South Carolina law allows for the continuation of certain group insurance policies issued or renewed in the state. Specifically, policies that provide hospital, surgical, or major medical expense coverage, or a combination of these, are subject to continuation. To be eligible for this coverage, employees must have been continuously covered under the policy for at least six months, and their coverage must have been terminated for any reason other than non-payment of contributions. However, employees who are eligible for federal COBRA continuation coverage for a longer period are not eligible for South Carolina continuation coverage. The duration of South Carolina continuation coverage is six months, in addition to the remaining time in the month that the individual loses coverage. Notice of continuation coverage must be included in certificates of coverage.

In South Carolina, eligible individuals who have lost their group insurance coverage can maintain their coverage for up to six months through continuation coverage. This applies to policies that offer hospital, surgical, or major medical expense coverage, or a combination of these. To qualify for South Carolina continuation coverage, employees must have been continuously covered for at least six months and their coverage must have been terminated for reasons other than non-payment of contributions. Individuals who are eligible for longer federal COBRA continuation coverage are not eligible for South Carolina continuation coverage. The coverage period under South Carolina continuation coverage is six months, plus any remaining time in the month the individual lost their coverage. Insurance companies must provide notice of continuation coverage after termination in certificates of coverage, ensuring eligible individuals are aware of their rights to maintain coverage under this law.

Source: South Carolina Code of Laws Unannotated (S.C. Code § 38-71-770)

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South Carolina Pre-Existing Condition Coverage

Continuing on your workplace insurance, also known as COBRA, is a good idea if you visit the doctor often or take prescription medications. It’s the same health plan that you have been on. You won’t have to start your deductibles over as the plan picks back up at the date that it stopped.

Marketplace / Obamacare

Sometimes state and federal subsidies help offset the premium for individual marketplace insurance.

A loss of work health insurance is a qualifying event to find new healthcare through the public healthcare exchange.

In 2023, the average ACA health plan premium in South Carolina is $489/month per individual, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

You May Qualify For A Subsidy

Apply For COBRA

Employer Has 20+ Employees

As an employee, you may continue your most recent work health insurance for up to 18 months. Family members may access the plan for up to 36 months.

You sign up for COBRA with your former employer or their third party.

The premium will be $400 – 700 / month, per insured person.

South Carolina Allows Short-Term Health Insurance Plans

In South Carolina, you are able to bridge your insurance gap using a private short-term health plan. The following types of coverage provide major medical benefits for new illnesses and accidents that may arise.

Short Term Medical Insurance

New Illnesses & Injury Coverage

Flex term short term medical insurance

Plans begin at $80/month.
Based on age and state availability

The FlexTerm Health Insurance plan provides health insurance coverage to help protect you from the medical bills that can result from newly unexpected Injuries and Sickness.

Coverage begins as early as midnight tonight.

Accident Only Insurance with Telehealth

Coverage begins as early as midnight tonight.

Pre-existing Conditions Do Not Exclude You From Accident Only Coverage

Plans start at $44/month.
Based on age and state availability

Accidents happen, and the last thing you want to worry about is who or how the bills are going to get paid. With this plan, you can focus on getting care. CAM helps you and your family with the high cost of healthcare resulting from injury or accidents.

Includes Telehealth – Access to prescribing  doctors for common issues

Limited Indemnity with Telehealth

Includes Telehealth giving you access to prescribing doctors for common issues.

Core Health Insurance provides guaranteed acceptance Limited Indemnity Medical coverage for your basic medical needs, helping to provide a medical option for people who do not have the luxury of being covered by a comprehensive health insurance plan.

Coverage begins as early as midnight tonight.


After your workplace insurance ends, you’ll sign up for Medicare within 8 months.

In general, you can sign up for Part A and Part B starting three months before your 65th birthday and ending three months after your 65th birthday.

Learn more about Medicare deadlines and how Medicare Advantage plans can replace original Medicare at no cost to you.

COBRA Is Available In All 50 States

Employee continuation of health insurance coverage is not required in all states. When a state lacks laws governing the continuation of work-related medical benefits, the federal COBRA Act protects these rights. Find out more about your state.

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