Molina Healthcare of South Carolina is expanding its marketplace footprint into Greenville County next year.
The company’s health insurance marketplace, known as Exchange, will be available in 13 additional counties in 2021, including Greenville, and includes free preventive care services including screenings, family planning and preventive drugs. Additionally, the plan includes expanded telemedicine services and free pediatric vision services.
That’s all good news for Greenville, according to Guy Furay, president of The Insurance Source, but he was quick to point out the expansion didn’t always look so promising.
“We’ve been begging for competition for years; competition is good for consumers, and we love it,” Furay said. “But we want to have all the plans to have valid competition.”
Furay is referring to what he believed to be an inadequate level of service initially offered by Molina. When the company first announced plans to expand into Greenville, Molina was going to partner with Spartanburg Regional, but it made no plans to offer hospital access in Greenville County itself.
“That means if you bought Molina health care, you’d have to drive 35 miles to Spartanburg to use a hospital,” Furray said. “We found that unacceptable.”
What followed was a guerrilla marketing campaign that involved the Department of Insurance, staff members of Gov. Henry McMaster, and a letter-writing push to ensure that the state’s largest county didn’t also have scant options for health care.
Last week, Tina Padron, executive director of Molina, announced the company had signed a contract with Bon Secours so customers of Molina can access care at a local hospital.
Furay said the news has allowed him and others in the pubic relations push to breathe easier.
“The people who get low-price care like this are also the most vulnerable,” he said. “Some of them don’t even have transportation to get to the hospital easily. So this is something we’re very excited about, and we want to thank them on that.”