South Carolina has no DPC laws at present but multiple DPC practices are operating within the state. Be sure to review the South Carolina Insurance Code when planning your DPC practice. You will want to be certain that the design of your practice does not include any "transfer of risk" that would constitute insurance or arrange for basic health services that would result in it being defined as a health maintenance organization. Our thanks go out to Dee Carter, MD of Living Well Family Medicine for tackling an insurance commissioner inquiry about the design of her practice. This letter from the state insurance commissioner should prove useful to other DPC practices throughout the state.
Helpful references include:
S.C. Code Ann § 38-1-20(25) "Insurance" means a contract where one undertakes to indemnify another or pay a specified amount upon determinable contingencies. The term "insurance" includes annuities.
S.C. Code Ann § 38-33-20(8) "Health maintenance organization" means a person who undertakes to provide or arrange for basic health care services to enrollees for a fixed prepaid premium.
S.C. Code Ann § 38-33-20(1) "Basic health care services" means emergency care, inpatient hospital and physician care, and outpatient medical services. It does not include dental services, mental health services, or services for alcohol or drug abuse, although a health maintenance organization at its option may elect to provide these services in its coverage.