South Carolina among the worst in financial security

Insurance agents have their work cut out for them in the wake of a new report that South Carolina and Mississippi are among the least financially secure

Insurance News

By Lyle Adriano

A report prepared by the nonprofit Corporation for Enterprise Development revealed that South Carolina placed an abysmal 45th among the nation’s states and the District of Columbia in a ranking of economic opportunity and security. Health care has ironically become one of the state’s biggest hurdles in overcoming its financial instability.

Vermont topped the list as the most financially secure state, while Mississippi came in last.

The report discovered that 47% of South Carolina’s households live in “liquid asset poverty;” a good number of families cannot set aside at least three months’ worth of savings to cover their basic expenses and stay clear of the poverty level.

The national average of households in liquid poverty, according to the report, is 44%.

Corporation for Enterprise Development vice president of policy and research Jeremie Greer explained that the large figures are due to the report accounting even for low to moderate income households that could barely scrape a living.

Greer additionally observed a “huge disparity for households of color,” noting that 68% of households of color are liquid asset poor.

The state’s stiff health care costs have kept many locals mired in debt and insecurity.

The report found that about 18% of South Carolina adults could not see their healthcare providers due to the steep fees involved. As a result, the report gave the state low marks for being unable to expand Medicaid under the ACA.

Residents of the state with incomes below 138% of the federal poverty level (around $16,000 a year for a single adult or $33,500 for a household of four) should be able to qualify for Medicaid had the state participated in the expansion.

Gov. Nikki Haley and other conservative officials of the state, however, opposed Medicaid’s expansion into South Carolina, calling the system faulty and pricey.

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