South Carolina Medicare Supplement plans are similar to Medigap plans in other states. Since Medicare is a federal program, many states have nearly identical guidelines. We’re going to take a look at the cost of supplemental insurance in South Carolina and help you find a policy. We’ll even discuss common questions about Medigap in this state.
South Carolina Medigap
Medigap in Columbia, SC costs different than a Medicare Supplement in Hilton Head, SC. Location, age, and tobacco use are all factors in cost.
Most of the policies in South Carolina are attained age-rated. So, they are cheaper when you buy at age 65, but prices increase with age.
South Carolina MedicareSELECT Plans
MedicareSELECT plans are an option for those looking for the superior benefits of Medigap at a more affordable rate. These plans have a network of providers you need to use to get the policy to pay its share.
The big difference between MedigapSELECT and advantage plans is the ability to use Medicare without using plan coverage when out of network. So, instead of paying 100%, you only pay 20% when the doctor takes Original Medicare.
For those on a select plan, if you decide the policy isn’t good enough, at any time, you can return to a regular Medigap plan sold by the same company. The new selection must be equal or lesser coverage than the current policy.
Medicare Advantage Plans in South Carolina
Location is HUGE; the first thing you need to know when searching for a Medicare Advantage plan is the zip code.
Medicare Advantage is full of changes; if you want consistent coverage, a Medigap plan could be more suitable. However, if you can’t afford Medigap coverage, advantage plans are an option.
According to KFF, 28% of South Carolina residents enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.
Some coverage is always better than no coverage!
There are plenty of $0 plans to choose from throughout South Carolina; but, not all areas offer the same policies or $0 options.
When choosing an Advantage plan, you want to select a policy with good ratings, large doctor networks, and excellent customer service. Unfortunately, there are no 5-star Advantage plans in the state of South Carolina.
Aetna has a Premier Plan with a $0 Premium, and it’s a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO). For those with essential doctors, they don’t want to change; the PPO lets you go outside the plan network at a higher out of pocket cost.
The Aetna Plan has a 4.5-star rating, but the copayments could seriously add up for those with a budget. Outside the network, it’s $50 for the doctor and $60 for a specialist.
If you can stay in-network, the copay is only $5 for the doctor and $40 for the specialist.
The “out of network” copay difference might not seem that big; but, if you need a wheelchair and the supplier is out of network you can expect to pay 45% of the cost. The costs here are higher than if you only have Medicare.
Of course, this is for Richland County; those in other counties could pay a slightly different amount.
TIP: The best plan for your neighbor likely isn’t the most suitable option for you.
The plan does include Part D and routine vision. What makes this policy better than Medicare is the Maximum Out of Pocket.
On this policy, the annual maximum is $5,900. So, the most you could spend out is $5,900 a year.
The thing is, Medicare doesn’t have a max, so if you have a medical disaster, you could end up paying tens of thousands of dollars.
Medicare Part D South Carolina
Those with a Medigap policy need a stand-alone Part D.
But, most people with Advantage plans have Part D rolled into the coverage.
For those with a few generics, the Humana Walmart Value Rx Plan is less than $15, and the deductible only applies to brand name medications.
The best policy is the one that covers your medications and your pharmacy.
Now, many times, the mail order pharmacy will save you the most money.
If you don’t at least select a plan, you could be responsible for a Part D late enrollment penalty.
So, it’s vital that you sign up for a Part D plan as soon as you’re first eligible.
If you don’t take any medications, you can focus solely on premium.
But, if you do have medications, it’s best to compare your options to find the plan that saves you the most overall.
How to Compare Medicare Supplement Plans in South Carolina
Do you find this information overwhelming? Perhaps you still feel unsure of the type of policy you want or need?
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