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Report analyzes Medicaid expansion

A new report published by the Urban Institute found 194,000 South Carolinians would qualify for Medicaid if state leaders expanded access to the low-income health insurance program. 

Medicaid expansion is an optional provision of the Affordable Care Act. Most states have chosen to take advantage of federal money to expand eligibility for coverage. South Carolina has not expanded the program. 

"The 32 states that have already expanded the program have fewer uninsured residents, lower uncompensated care costs and experienced net gains in state budgets," the report concluded

In South Carolina, specifically, the report found "state spending would increase $111 million or 6.8 percent but would be offset largely by savings in other areas, including uncompensated medical care for people who are currently uninsured."

School promotes healthy habits

Carolina Voyager Charter School in Charleston recently celebrated Every Kid Healthy Week by introducing students to healthy habits and foods, such as walking to school and local produce. 

voyager school

Grace Gaylord, an Aldi volunteer, encourages participants at Carolina Voyager Charter School in Charleston. The school recently marked Every Kid Healthy Week with grant money from Aldi. Provided

The program was funded by a grant from Aldi, according to a press release. 

"Carolina Voyager is using its grant to create a healthier learning environment through such activities as purchasing new supplies for PE class and active recess and brain breaks in class and expanding educational use of the school garden," the release explained. 

DHEC adjusts clinic hours

The Mount Pleasant Health Department will operate from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. starting Monday due to the closure of the Wando River Bridge. 

The new hours are expected to remain in place for at least four weeks, or until the repairs are completed, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control explained in a press release. 

"We believe these temporary hours of operations will be more accommodating for clients and staff that are affected by the traffic," said Taylor Lee, DHEC'S Lowcountry public health director, in the release. 

Free beauty services for cancer survivors

Students from V’s Student Cosmetology Services at Virginia College in Charleston will offer free manicures, haircuts and hair curling for cancer survivors on June 5. 

The free services will be offered from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on campus, 6185 Rivers Avenue, Suite C.

Appointments are not required, but may be made in advance by calling 843-614-4364. 

The event also will feature refreshments, face painting, a balloon pop and a photo booth.

'Healthy Bucks' reopens for summer

The Department of Social Services recently announced that the Healthy Bucks program, which allows food stamp recipients to use their vouchers at local farmers' markets, has returned for the summer. 

"Clients can go to a participating farmer or farmers market and make an EBT purchase of at least $5," a press release about the program explained. "Upon making the purchase, the client will receive $10 in Healthy Bucks tokens to purchase additional fresh fruits and vegetables. Clients are able to receive the $10 incentive (1) once per market day."

The program is only open to beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly called SNAP. 

To find locations participating in the program, visit

-- Lauren Sausser

Reach Lauren Sausser at 843-937-5598.