Media Releases 2013 All Archives

Media Advisory- Press Conference Announcement Media Advisory- Press Conference Announcement
MEDIA ADVISORY South Carolina Department of Insurance (SCDOI) announces the following: WHO: Gov. Nikki Haley, SC Department of Insurance, SC Department of Public Safety, University of South Carolina and Clemson University along with private partners including: State Farm Insurance, The National Safety Council, AT&T, Bojangles Restaurants, SC Insurance News Service WHAT: Announce “Texting Can Wait” Challenge for USC/Clemson rivalry. Gov. Haley will issue a friendly challenge to USC and Clemson students to encourage students to take the AT&T Don’t Text and Drive Pledge. The school with the most pledges will have bragging rights with billboards announcing the winning school located near each campus. ** Students from these universities will have a chance to take the “Texting Can Wait” Challenge at several campus locations and also online at http://att-fz.us/clemson or http://att-fz.us/carolina; the winners will be announced at the Clemson v. USC football game rivalry on November 30, 2013. WHEN: Wednesday, November 6, 2013, 12:45 p.m. WHERE: Statehouse lobby
NAIC Consumer Alert, Understanding the Exchange NAIC Consumer Alert, Understanding the Exchange
UNDERSTANDING THE EXCHANGE What You Need to Know Before You Enroll On October 1, open enrollment in the new health insurance marketplace will begin. The marketplace, or exchange, is an important part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), designed to simplify the process of shopping for and buying health insurance and applying for assistance. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) offers this guide to help consumers understand the exchange and explain how it can help them find affordable coverage.
Consumer Alert, Scammers Take Advantage of Health Reform Confusion Consumer Alert, Scammers Take Advantage of Health Reform Confusion
CONSUMER ALERT SCAMMERS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HEALTH REFORM CONFUSION Consumers Be On Alert Columbia, SC- Ray Farmer, Director of the South Carolina Department of Insurance issued the following alert regarding the acts of unscrupulous scammers. Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in March 2010, dishonest scammers have been creating ways to take advantage of consumers’ uncertainty surrounding the law. Posing as insurance agents or representatives of the federal government, these scam artists try to sell fraudulent policies or obtain sensitive information like Social Security and bank account numbers. The South Carolina Department of Insurance is warning consumers about common red flags and providing tips on how to avoid being the victim of a scam. Health Insurance Marketplaces One of the largest components of the ACA is the creation of new health insurance marketplaces, or exchanges. These online portals ask consumers to enter information about themselves and select the level of coverage they desire to receive a list of plans they can purchase. Open enrollment in the new marketplaces begins October 1. However, bogus websites that purport to be part of the exchanges have been appearing online for more than a year. Do not enter any personal or financial information into a website that says you can purchase a policy before the open enrollment period. For information from the federal government regarding the Affordable Care Act, please visit healthcare.gov. New “Obamacare” Insurance or Medicare Cards Another common ploy involves unsolicited calls from scammers who claim to have your new “Obamacare” insurance card – they just need to get some information before they can send it to you. The caller then asks for credit card numbers, bank account information or your Social Security number. A variation of this trick specifically targets seniors on Medicare; the caller claims that in order for them to get their new Medicare card and continue receiving their benefits, they must verify their bank account and routing numbers. Some callers ask for their Medicare numbers, which are identical to Social Security numbers. You are not required to obtain a new insurance or Medicare card under the ACA. Also, anyone who is a legitimate representative of the federal government will already have your personal and financial information and should not ask you to provide it. Don't Be Misled Here are some other important “red flags” to watch out for: • The salesperson says the premium offer is only good for a limited time. o Enrollment in the exchanges will be open from Oct. 1 to March 31, and rates for plans in the exchanges will have been approved for the entire enrollment period. Be skeptical of someone who is trying to pressure you into buying a policy because the rate is only good for a short time. Remember: if the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. • The salesperson says you could go to jail for not having health insurance. o Starting in 2014, all Americans will be required to have health insurance. You will not face jail time if you do not purchase health insurance. However, those who remain uninsured and do not qualify for any exemptions will face a penalty of $95 (for each adult) or 1% of family income, whichever is greater. In 2015, the penalty will increase to $325 per adult or 2% of family income, and in 2016 and beyond, the penalty will be $695 per adult or 2.5% of family income. • You receive an unsolicited phone call or email from someone trying to sell insurance. o The federal government and state insurance departments will not be contacting individual consumers to sell them insurance. Do not give any sensitive information to anyone who claims to be with the federal government, your state insurance department or a navigator for your state’s exchange. Protect Yourself The best way to protect yourself from insurance fraud is to research the agent and company you’re considering. Always STOP before writing a check, signing a contract or giving out personal information. CALL the South Carolina Department of Insurance, 1-800-768-3467 or visit www.doi.sc.gov and CONFIRM that the agent and company are licensed to write insurance in your state. For questions regarding this information please contact the South Carolina Department of Insurance at 803-737-6207. ###
SC Department of Insurance and SC Department of Motor Vehicles Partner to Provide Consumer Outreach SC Department of Insurance and SC Department of Motor Vehicles Partner to Provide Consumer Outreach
The South Carolina Department of Insurance (DOI) is partnering with The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to help consumers learn more about their insurance needs and questions. The DOI will have a representative available at specified DMV Field Offices to assist consumers with their insurance related questions and concerns. “This is a wonderful opportunity for the DOI to be able to provide assistance to consumers in their local communities. While we provide assistance to all South Carolinians through our toll-free telephone number and our on-line capabilities, we look forward to meeting consumers in their neighborhoods,” said Ray Farmer, Director of The South Carolina Department of Insurance. DMV serves approximately 5 million customers a year, making the agency’s field offices an excellent resource for reaching the general public. “Many of our customers need this valuable insurance information. Whether they have questions about accident insurance claims, suffered a loss due to fire or replacing a stolen driver’s license, we’re glad to offer them another resource in our offices. Our partnership with DOI gives us an opportunity to explore new and better ways to serve our customers,” said DMV Executive Director Kevin Shwedo. Beginning September 20th and continuing through December 6th, every first and third Friday, DOI staff will be available to assist visitors of the following DMV Offices from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. September 20, 2013 GREENVILLE DMV Office #23 300 University Ridge, Suite 105, Greenville, SC 29601 October 4, 2013 GREENVILLE DMV Office #23 300 University Ridge, Suite 105, Greenville, SC 29601 October 18, 2013 SPARTANBURG DMV Office #42 8794 FairForest Road, Suite B, Spartanburg, SC 29303 November 1, 2013 SPARTANBURG DMV Office #42 8794 FairForest Road, Suite B, Spartanburg, SC 29303 November 15, 2013 FLORENCE DMV Office 3102 E. Palmetto Street, Florence, SC 29506 December 6, 2013 FLORENCE DMV Office 3102 E. Palmetto Street, Florence, SC 29506 The DOI’s Office of Consumer Services also has extended call-in hours Monday-Thursday, 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. and maintains regular hours on Friday (8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.). Consumers may reach an analyst by calling 1-800-768-3467. Consumers can also visit our website, www.doi.sc.gov for information and to submit an online inquiry or complaint.
Media Release - Affordable Care Act Media Release - Affordable Care Act
SC DOI Completes Review of Health Insurance Forms and Rates for products Under the Affordable Care Act
Media Release- Consumer Assistance to Jasper County Residents Media Release- Consumer Assistance to Jasper County Residents
Beginning Monday, August 5, 2013, the South Carolina Department of Insurance will have a representative available locally every other Monday to assist residents of the greater Jasper County area with their insurance questions and concerns. Joseph McDonald, Consumer Liaison for the SC Department of Insurance will hold office hours from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the Hardeeville City Hall Building located at 205 East Main Street, Hardeeville, SC 29927. “We are pleased to be able to offer our services to the residents of the greater Jasper County area by holding office hours locally,” said Ray Farmer, Director of the South Carolina Department of Insurance. “While the Department provides a toll-free telephone number and on-line assistance capabilities for consumers, a local presence will also be helpful so that residents can meet personally with a department representative and discuss their insurance concerns.” Earlier this summer, Senator Clementa C. Pinckney and the South Carolina Department of Insurance hosted a policy review workshop and storm preparedness seminar for Jasper County residents at the Mary Gordon Ellis Executive Building in Ridgeland, SC. Department representatives provided general insurance and storm preparedness information to more than 30 residents. During the meeting, attendees were encouraged to consider the following activities: • Conduct an annual review of your homeowner’s policy and have a conversation with your agent about your policy and the coverages that you have or may need. • Complete a home inventory. Forms are available and if you have a smart phone, there is an app for that. Information about the app is available at the following site, www.doi.sc.gov . • Make a family disaster plan in the event that you are required to evacuate your home. • Compile a disaster kit in preparation for storm season and prepare your property for storms and high winds associated with the season. The consumer services division of The South Carolina Department of Insurance has extended call-in hours Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m. and maintains regular hours on Friday from 8:30- 5:00 p.m. You may reach an analyst in the consumer services division by calling 1-800-768-3467. Consumers can also visit our website, www.doi.sc.gov for more important insurance information.
Media Release-Cat. Model Findings 7-2013 Media Release-Cat. Model Findings 7-2013
Evauluation of Hurricane Catastrophe Models 7-2013 Evauluation of Hurricane Catastrophe Models 7-2013
Public Hearing Notice 7-2013 Public Hearing Notice 7-2013
SC DOI Media Release-WreckCh App 7-2013 SC DOI Media Release-WreckCh App 7-2013
Home Safety and Preparedness Expo A Success- Media Release Home Safety and Preparedness Expo A Success- Media Release
Media release highlighting the outdoor home safety and preparedness event.
Home Safety and Preparedness Expo Media Advisory Home Safety and Preparedness Expo Media Advisory
Coastal Property Insurance Marketplace- Annual Public Information Session and Public Hearing Coastal Property Insurance Marketplace- Annual Public Information Session and Public Hearing
Proposed Information Session and Public Hearing Agenda Proposed Information Session and Public Hearing Agenda
Notice of Public Hearing on May 9, 2013 Notice of Public Hearing on May 9, 2013
National Severe Weather Preparedness Week - Media Advisory National Severe Weather Preparedness Week - Media Advisory
Workers' Compensation Advisory Committee Meeting Notice for March 8, 2013 Workers' Compensation Advisory Committee Meeting Notice for March 8, 2013
SCDOI Provides Extended Hours of Operation to Assist South Carolina Consumers SCDOI Provides Extended Hours of Operation to Assist South Carolina Consumers