South Carolina Medicare Supplement Plans
Since the federal government has standardized Medigap coverage, plans will remain the same in coverage and benefits. This means Medigap Plan N in Bluffton has identical coverage to Plan N in Columbia.
While beneficiaries can choose to be covered only by Medicare, additional coverage is highly recommended.
Medicare Supplement Plans in South Carolina
Let’s say Betty has no Medigap coverage and she opted for Original Medicare. Well, Betty suffers a heart attack and is rushed to the hospital.
The ambulance ride costs Betty her Part B deductible which is $185; also, she’s required to pay 20% of expenses not covered by Medicare.
Next, Betty’s admitted to the hospital; meaning she pays $1,364 for her Part A deductible as well as 20% of the costs associated with her hospital stay.
Betty is in the hospital for 5 days where she learns that bypass surgery is necessary. The average cost for coronary bypass surgery without complications is $40,000 in America.
This means Betty will pay 20% of $40,000 if there are no complications this sets her back $8,000. That’s ONLY 20% and not including the deductibles or other expenses.
Also, imagine if there is a complication on the operating table; her expenses could easily wipe out her retirement savings.
South Carolina Medicare Part A & Part B
Original Medicare covers 80% of medical expenses and the beneficiary covers 20%. Also, beneficiaries are required to cover the cost of deductibles.
The Part A deductible of $1,364 must be paid when a beneficiary receives inpatient services at the hospital. Now, this deductible is unique because it’s not an annual charge. This is charged per benefit.
So, Let’s say Betty only had Medicare and she breaks her leg next month; guess who gets to pay the Part A deductible AGAIN? Poor Betty, her retirement fund won’t exist much longer.
Part A is for inpatient, hospice, and skilled nursing services.
Medicare Part B covers outpatient services. This includes preventive services, medically necessary supplies, ambulance services, outpatient drugs, and mental health needs.
Part B has a deductible, and beneficiaries are responsible for 20% of the healthcare services rendered.
Medicare Advantage plans are Part C plans. When you enroll in an MA coverage, Medicare no longer handles your claims.
Prescription drug coverage is offered through Part D plans. Beneficiaries that don’t enroll in Part D at age 65 could inherit a late enrollment Part D penalty.
Medigap plans work alongside Medicare to give you the best coverage.
Best Medigap Plans in South Carolina
Medigap plans with identical letters in different zip codes still cover the same. So, Plan N in Bluffton offers the same coverage as Plan N in Columbia; however, there will likely be a premium difference.
Even though Plan F offers the most comprehensive coverage, sometimes the Plan G will make more sense. Let’s say Betty is quoted $150 a month for Plan F and Plan G is only $120.
Well, $30 a month is $360 a year! Betty could pay her own Part B deductible and have Plan G function similar to the F plan. By paying her own deductible, she saves herself $175 annually.
This is just an example; rates are quoted most accurately when an agent has information like zip code, enrollment eligibility understanding, health status, gender, and benefits need. Without these things in mind, a quote is just a number.
South Carolina Medicare Supplement Plan Eligibility
The first day of the 65th birthday month, most beneficiaries become eligible for Part A and Part B. This also entitles recipients to a Medigap Open Enrollment Period (OEP).
During the OEP, beneficiaries are qualified for Guaranteed Issue (GI) rights. So, if Betty had a heart attack last year and applied for a policy with GI, she still gets coverage at the best possible rate.
Medicare Supplement plans allow you the freedom to apply for coverage anytime. However, if Betty waited too long, she could be denied Medigap coverage or charged an increased premium rate based on her health.
South Carolina Medigap Eligibility Under 65
In this state, there is no law that requires insurance companies to offer Medigap coverage to those under 65. Claims tend to be higher for people on disability; because of this, premiums for beneficiaries under 65 are much higher than premiums for those aged 65.
Also, the two plans available to those under 65 in South Carolina include Plan A and C. The cost of these plans would be outrageous, to the point of less value.
For example, Plan C would be over $1,000 a month and Plan A is over $900 a month. The best solution for a Medicare beneficiary under 65 is an MA plan.
In certain zip codes Special Needs Plans can provide tailored medical coverage for specific health issues; such as diabetes, heart issues, End-Stage-Renal-Disease or Dual eligibility (Medicare and Medicaid).
South Carolina Medicare Supplement Plan Premiums
Insurance companies can choose different rating methods to determine the cost of a policy. Some states require insurance companies to use specific rating guidelines; other states allow the insurance companies the freedom to choose the rating method.
The most common rating method in SC is attained-age-rating. This means the premium would increase with age. Premiums will vary, an agent can provide the most accurate personalized quote.
When Betty turned 65 she enrolled in Medigap Plan G. When she had her heart attack the only thing outside her premium she paid for was the $185 Part B deductible.
Betty pays $100 a year for her Plan G; so, including the cost of her deductible, her out of pocket expenses for the year are only $1385. Her Medigap plan costs less than the Part A deductible.
Not only does Betty save money, she rests easy knowing her retirement savings are safe from high medical bills.
South Carolina Medicare Supplement Plan Application
Trying to plan your own coverage can be challenging; searching websites for quotes, getting phone calls and piles of mail. Medicare can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be!
We know that spending a little can save A LOT; so obtaining proper coverage is necessary. When applying for a Supplement, have the Medicare Card as well as a form of payment ready for the agent.
Medicare Advantage Plans in South Carolina
Advantage plans have limitations, copayments, and high out of pocket costs. While these plans do offer further benefit than Traditional Medicare, Medigap offers more extensive coverage.
Let’s say Betty had an Advantage plan when her heart attack occurred.
The ambulance ride costs $250. Then, the hospital costs $300 PER DAY for days 1-4. That’s $1,200 just for her to be at the hospital.
Betty will also pay bills on tests and procedures done in the hospital. This visit to the hospital costs more than a Medigap plan in certain areas!
Keep in mind, each MA plan is different, copays and limitations vary by county. This is just an example of how one Medicare Advantage plan in South Carolina works.
Also, if Betty had Advantage coverage when Part A and B began, as long as it has been less than 12-months since enrollment, she can enroll in a Medigap plan with a Special Election Period (SEP).
Medicare Part D in South Carolina
Part D covers medications. Beneficiaries that don’t have coverage for prescriptions become effective the same day as Part B could incur a Part D late enrollment Penalty.
The penalty will remain in place for as long as the Part D coverage is active. Having medication coverage will benefit everyone, even those that don’t take regular prescriptions.
Beneficiaries can save money when they select Mail Order prescriptions. This benefit also saves time; so, it makes sense that more seniors are choosing this option.
Some Part D plans are less than $20 a month. Depending on the list of needed prescriptions, a more expensive premium policy could allow you to save in the long run.
Medicare’s website allows beneficiaries to enter prescriptions and view the most recommended policies.
Resources for Medicare in South Carolina
The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) in South Carolina can provide resources for getting insurance counseling and assistance. Those with a fixed income could qualify for the Medicare Savings Program and Extra Help.
The CMS Newsroom is a great resource for staying updated on senior health information.
Compare South Carolina Medicare Supplement Plan Rates
Comparing South Carolina Medicare Supplement plans can be as simple as pie when you’re a Medicare expert. Let us help you through the process so you can enjoy retirement.
Our agents know the ins and outs of each top insurance carrier in your area. They understand budgets and healthcare needs. Call an agent today at the number above or fill out an online rate form!
When retiring, would you rather spend precious time toggling between multiple insurance sites trying to find the best price or be on the phone with an agent for a few minutes?
Betty saved herself time, effort and funds by enrolling in Medigap Plan G; let us help find your perfect match policy!