Updated: Oct 22, 2015 11:33 AM EDT
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) — Nearly 67,000 customers of Consumers’ Choice Health Insurance will have to shop for new insurance at the end of the year when the company shuts down its operations in 2016.
The state Department of Insurance made the announcement on Thursday. The company and the state agency did not give specifics on what precipitated the closure, only saying a look at long-term sustainability showed problems.
“This was a difficult decision for the insurer and this agency, but this is what is in the best interests of South Carolina consumers and health care providers,” said Ray Farmer, Director of the South Carolina Department of Insurance.
Company officials said the decision was made to shut down because the company’s financial situation could continue to degrade.
“In the coming days, weeks and months, Consumers’ Choice will continue to focus all of its efforts on taking care of its members and also working with the South Carolina Department of Insurance as well as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to help ensure a smooth transition,” added Tim Ervolina, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Consumers’ Choice.
Consumers’ Choice is required to submit a run-off plan to the Department of Insurance.
“This should be an orderly run-off of the company’s business. Our expectation is that the company will honor its existing commitments to policyholders and health care providers as a part of winding down its operations. The Department has monitored the financial condition of this insurer very closely since licensure and will continue to do so until this process is complete,” Farmer said.
If you have coverage questions, you may contact CCHP at 1-800-580-8736.
The South Carolina Department of Insurance can also assist you. The Department can help consumers understand their rights and responsibilities during this process. Please call our Office of Consumer Services at 1-800-768-3467 if we may be of assistance to you.