Special to the Fort Mill Times
Selling insurance is only a part of what Eric Padelford does.
Padelford, owner of The Padelford Agency LLC-Insurance Exchange in Fort Mill, hopes he can be a resource for those in his community.
“I hope to help local residents and retirees maximum their health and retiree benefits,” he said. Padelford recently moved his business from downtown Fort Mill to Pleasant Road, close to I-77. He said the new location opens many opportunities, including being located near more local businesses.
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“It’s a more accessible location,” he said.
After 10 years in insurance, Padelford has seen many changes, most recently with the Affordable Care Act. While controversial, Padelford urged people to take appropriate actions under the act.
“It’s the law of the land,” he said. “It will affect every business and family in the country.”
Under the ACA, Padelford said many people will qualify for federal tax subsidies to help them pay for health insurance. In South Carolina, individuals with an income up to about $45,000 a year will be eligible for subsidies if they purchase a plan from the federal online health exchange. States had the option of setting up their own exchange, but S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley, who vehemently opposes the ACA, decided to let the federal government set up and run the state’s exchange.
Businesses, especially those with fewer than 50 employees, that provide their employees with health insurance may actually be doing them a disservice under the ACA, Padelford said. Instead, he said those businesses should let their employees apply for subsidies for health insurance and provide vision and dental benefits, which are not covered under the ACA.
“Small businesses really need to understand how they can help their employees under the ACA,” Padelford said. “We can help with that.”
For businesses with more than 50 employees, an ACA mandate will require that they provide insurance for employees or face a $2,000-per employee fine, Padelford said. This mandate has been delayed until 2015.
However, the individual mandate that requires those without health insurance to be fined will go into effect next year.
Padelford urged residents to seek guidance from an ACA agent if they have any concerns, particularly if they are uninsured. He can help answer some of those questions as well.
“We are hoping to be on the forefront of the significant changes in the health insurance sector,” he said.
Padelford said people with lower incomes may benefit from more affordable coverage. He urged those with higher incomes to seek guidance on how to avoid overspending on health insurance.
Padelford said people who already have health insurance should make sure their plan is compliant with ACA guidelines.
“I like us to be seen as a local resource, to answer questions and provide access to affordable insurance solutions,” he said.The Padelford Agency is located at 2752 Pleasant Road, Suite 101, Fort Mill. Call 704-651-7465 or go to seaffordablehealth.com.