The open enrollment period for health insurance began on Thursday and professionals like Blue Cross Blue Shield spokesman Shawn Skillman urged clients to act fast when it comes to signing up for a plan.

“That’s not a lot of time to make good health insurance decisions for your family,” said Skillman. “Don’t wait. If you want health insurance, now’s the time to get it.”

Open enrollment lasts just 45 days, giving those that would normally have to wait for a special enrollment period the opportunity to sign up before Dec. 15. 

The Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate initially required all Americans to have health insurance or face fines. However, the 2017 Republican tax bill, which removed that rule, now raises the question of whether there will be a decrease in the amount of insurance purchased by South Carolinians this year.

Skillman says he is doesn’t believe South Carolinians only have health insurance because they have to.

“We always thought that people wanted to buy health insurance because they wanted health insurance,” he said. “I don’t think they bought it because they were going to get a final or a penalty.”

Lexington resident Romona Patterson visited the Blue Cross Blue Shield office on Friday to renew her 2019 medical insurance. Her husband’s employer does not offer health insurance and after deciding to be a stay-at-home mom, Patterson and her family needed a plan that worked for them.

This is their third year with Blue Cross Blue Shield and Patterson says she is happy with the possibilities given to her family.

“They have a lot of different options to give us based on what we feel comfortable with,” said Patterson.

Skillman and his team encourage clients to come into the office to ensure their plan is right for them.

“We would like to see them come into the store, we’d like to get that one-on-one connection with them and get that one-on-one consultation so we can make sure that, yes, this is what you want, this is what’s best for you and your family,” said Skillman.

To purchase health insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield, visit or to learn more.

Shawn Skillman of Blue Cross Blue Shield says the key to their success in the market is expanding on what worked well for them through the Affordable Care Act and ObamaCare in previous  years. 

Blue Cross Blue Shield offers 24 different plan options, varying based on the client and their family’s needs. 

Romona Patterson is happy with the ease of Blue Cross Blue Shield and says her experience with the company has been a good one.

Blue Cross Blue Shield employees inform clients that they can renew their insurance online. However, they find an onsite consultation more valuable for the customer and their family.