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Medicare Supplement Plans in South Carolina


Summary: Many Medicare Supplement plans are available in South Carolina, but finding the right one for your healthcare and budget needs is key. Learn more to determine the best Medicare Supplement plans in SC for your healthcare and how to save money when enrolling.  Estimated Read Time: 14 mins

Table of Contents:

Best Medicare Supplement Plans in SC

Who is Eligible for Medicare Supplement in South Carolina?

How Much Does Medigap in South Carolina Cost?

Companies Offering Medicare Supplement Plans in South Carolina

Medigap Plans for Disabled Under 65 in South Carolina

Medigap Rating Method for South Carolina

Medigap Guaranteed Issue Rights in South Carolina

When Can You Enroll in Medicare Supplement Plans in SC?

Additional Coverages for Medicare Beneficiaries in SC

Medicare Supplement Plans in SC work like Medicare Supplement plans across the country. Since Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans in South Carolina and across the country are standardized, the same plan will cover identical benefits, regardless of carrier and location.

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Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) provides healthcare coverage for approved services, with Medicare Supplement plans in SC covering leftover costs that are otherwise your responsibility. Thus, costs such as copayments, deductibles, and coinsurance must be covered out of your own pockets if you do not enroll in a Medigap plan.

South Carolina residents can choose from ten Medicare Supplement plan options, plus two high-deductible versions. The plans are each identified by a letter and due to standardization, each plan of the same letter will provide identical benefits and be accepted at the same locations regardless of the company issuing the policy. Additionally, you can use the Medicare Supplement plans South Carolina companies offer anywhere that accepts Original Medicare.

Because over 97% of healthcare providers nationwide accept Medicare assignment, pairing Original Medicare with a Medigap plan makes finding healthcare services affordable and straightforward.

Medicare Supplement plans in SC can be used in other states and are a great option for those who remain within the Palmetto State or travel throughout the U.S. Below, we review the ins and outs of Medigap plans in South Carolina, the three most popular options, and how to enroll in the right coverage for your healthcare needs.

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Best Medicare Supplement Plans in SC

It is difficult to pinpoint the best Medicare Supplement plans in SC because everyone has differing needs. Healthcare and budget requirements vary from person to person, but some plans are more popular than others as they offer attractive benefits and can meet the needs of many who are being budget-conscious. Therefore, the most popular Medicare Supplement plans in South Carolina are Medigap Plans F, G, and N.

Medicare Supplement Plan F in South Carolina.

Medicare Supplement Plan F in South Carolina is the most comprehensive supplemental Medicare coverage available in the state. You’ll have no out-of-pocket costs, including coverage for your coinsurance or copayments for Original Medicare, deductibles, Medicare Part B excess charges, or coinsurance when using skilled nursing facilities. Limits apply, but beneficiaries also receive foreign travel emergency expenses benefits.

However, it’s worth noting that if you received Medicare after January 1, 2020, you are not eligible for Medicare Supplement Plan F. The reason for ineligibility is a law passed to eliminate first-dollar coverage. First-dollar coverage refers to Medicare Supplement plans that cover you at 100% from the first dollar you spend on your plan.

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Medicare Supplement Plan G in South Carolina

If you are ineligible for Medigap Plan F, the second-most comprehensive coverage option in South Carolina is Medicare Supplement Plan G. Medigap Plan G in SC covers all the same benefits as Plan F, except for your Medicare Part B deductible.

Additionally, Medicare Supplement Plan G has a lower premium and rate increase history than Plan F. Thus, this coverage option is quickly becoming one of the most popular Medicare Supplement plans in SC.

Medicare Supplement Plan N in South Carolina

Typically, the higher level of coverage your plan provides, the higher your premiums will be. Therefore, Medicare Supplement Plan N is one of the most popular plans in South Carolina as it balances a great deal of coverage with more affordable premiums than the previously listed plans.

You are responsible for your Medicare Part B deductible and copays at your doctor. Additionally, you will need to cover copays at the emergency room if you are not admitted (there is no copay if you are) and excess charges if they apply in the state you receive care.

South Carolina is one of the majority of states that allow excess charges. However, excess charges are not typical – even where they are allowed – and if you receive care in a state that does not allow them, you will not have to pay them regardless of your SC residence.

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Who is Eligible for Medicare Supplement in South Carolina?

To be eligible for a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan in South Carolina, you must have coverage through Medicare Part A and Part B. You can obtain this coverage if you meet the Medicare eligibility requirements.

Like in other states, the Medigap plans available to South Carolina residents will offer supplemental coverage. This means that your benefits will cover the cost of your remaining Medicare Part A (inpatient/hospital) and Part B (outpatient/medical) healthcare expenses, as Original Medicare only covers 80%.

How Much Does Medigap in South Carolina Cost?

The cost of Medicare Supplement plans in South Carolina is different for each recipient. Although the benefits within lettered Medigap plans in SC are the same, monthly premium costs are not. This is why price is one of the primary factors people use when determining which carrier to choose.

When setting monthly premiums, carriers often consider several factors, such as age, ZIP Code, gender, and tobacco usage. Below is an example of different premium costs for beneficiaries in the same ZIP Code in South Carolina:

Female, No Tobacco, South Carolina ZIP Code 29401
Medigap Plan Monthly Premium Age 65 Monthly Premium Age 75
Medicare Supplement Plan F $113-$462* $140-$462*
Medicare Supplement Plan G $94-$425 $114-$425
Medicare Supplement Plan N $72-$375 $88-$375
Male, No Tobacco, South Carolina ZIP Code 29401
Medigap Plan Monthly Premium Age 65 Monthly Premium Age 75
Medicare Supplement Plan F $119-$522* $158-$522*
Medicare Supplement Plan G $106-$480 $130-$480
Medicare Supplement Plan N $81-$423 $100-$423

* If on Medicare before 01/01/2020

The examples above are for one ZIP Code in South Carolina. Your actual costs may be higher or lower based on previously mentioned factors and each company’s Medicare Supplement rating method.

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Companies Offering Medicare Supplement Plans in South Carolina

There are many companies offering Medigap plans to residents of the Palmetto State. It’s important to go over your options to ensure you are enrolling with the right carrier for your needs.

Remember, for the same lettered plan, Medicare Supplement companies in South Carolina will offer you the same benefits. However, how much you pay each month varies between carriers. Additionally, there’s more to consider than just your premium, as you’ll want to be sure that the company you enroll with is financially strong and present when you need them.

Independent credit agencies, such as A.M. Best and S&P Global Ratings, can assess the financial strength of companies. This allows you to understand the likelihood of your company sustaining financial integrity.

Consumer agencies, such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB), can give you insight into customer experiences with a brand. This is important to understand how a company operates when its clients require assistance.

You’ll want to consider both aspects, as the price isn’t the only important factor in enrollment. Many options are available, but we’ve highlighted a few popular brands. Here are some of the many top-rated companies offering Medigap plans in South Carolina:

Compare South Carolina Medicare Supplement Carriers
Carrier BBB Rating S&P Rating A.M. Best Rating
BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina A+ A+ (Superior) A+
Cigna N/A A- A (Excellent)
Mutual of Omaha A+ A+ A+ (Superior)
Manhattan Life A+ A B++
United American A+ AA- (Very Strong) A (Excellent)

At MedicareFAQ, we pride ourselves on only working with top-rated insurance companies that offer Medicare Supplement plans in SC. Therefore, when you enroll, you can be sure that you are receiving benefits from a reliable brand that is there when you need them. Additionally, our customer care team is a valuable resource to help guide you long after enrollment when you need assistance.

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Medigap Plans for Disabled Under 65 in South Carolina

If you are under the age of 65 and qualify for Medicare due to a disability, South Carolina offers two guaranteed issue Medigap policies.

These Medicare Supplement plans are available via the South Carolina Health Insurance Pool (SCHIP). In 2023, the plans available, along with their monthly premiums, are as follows:

  • Medigap Plan A – $988.11
  • Medigap Plan C* – $1,261.20
  • Medigap Plan D – $1,139.81

*Medicare Supplement Plan C is only available to those eligible for Medicare benefits before January 1, 2020.

Although representatives of BlueCross BlueShield of SC help administer the coverage, it’s important to point out that the SCHIP program is not offering benefits from the company itself.

There are several considerations for Medicare beneficiaries with disabilities seeking a Medicare Supplement plan:

  • Because premiums through this plan are so expensive, often alternatives, such as Medicare Advantage plans, are a better financial coverage option. When you are 65 years of age, you’ll receive your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, when you can enroll in any Medigap plan in South Carolina for which you are eligible.
  • The availability of supplemental coverage is subject to change. It’s up to private insurance companies to decide whether to offer Medicare Supplement plans in South Carolina. Therefore, additional options may become available in the future.

Because supplemental coverage options for disabled beneficiaries can come with limited coverage and inflated price tags, we always recommend you speak with a licensed Medicare agent to compare your options and find a solution that works for your healthcare and budget.

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Medigap Rating Method for South Carolina

Medicare Supplement plans in SC use one of two rating methods to determine premiums. These rating methods determine how companies assess your age as a factor in calculating your monthly premium.

The issue age method bases your monthly premium on your age at the time you first enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan in SC. On the other hand, the attained age method assesses your premium based on each renewal date and increases as you get older.

Medigap Guaranteed Issue Rights in South Carolina

Guaranteed issue rights are important as they make supplemental coverage more accessible, whereas otherwise, private companies can deny your coverage or charge you more if you sign up outside of your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This is typically due to pre-existing health conditions that may cause you to fail medical underwriting.

Your guaranteed issue rights, or Medigap protections, are scenarios in which you are guaranteed the chance to purchase Medicare Supplement plans outside of your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. But it’s important to note that these rights are only available in specific situations. Here are some examples:

  • You’ve left your Medigap plan in South Carolina for Medicare Advantage less than a year ago, it’s your first time making this switch, and you want to return to Medigap coverage. This is known as a trial right.
  • You’re on Medicare Advantage, and you either are moving out of your plan’s service area or your plan will no longer cover healthcare where you live.You’ve been misled by a Medicare company, or the company that enrolled you in coverage didn’t follow CMS guidelines.
  • You are enrolled in a Medicare Supplement plan in South Carolina, and the company offering your benefits goes bankrupt.

Guaranteed issue rights apply to South Carolina Medicare Supplement Plans A, B, C, D, F, G, K, or L from any Medigap company in the state.

*Note that Medicare Supplement Plans C and F are only available to those eligible for Medicare benefits before January 1, 2020. If you become eligible for Medicare benefits after that date, you will instead maintain guaranteed issue rights for South Carolina Medicare Supplement Plans D and G.

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When Can You Enroll in Medicare Supplement Plans in SC?

South Carolina residents can enroll in available Medicare Supplement plans at any time once they have Original Medicare. However, the best time to sign up for Medigap in SC is during your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period. This enrollment period is unique to every Medicare beneficiary and typically only happens once in your lifetime.

Your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period begins on the first day of the month you turn 65 and lasts for six months. You can enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan in SC with no underwriting health questions during this time.

If you miss your Open Enrollment Period, you can still enroll throughout the year, but you may be subject to underwriting health questions. During this time, a private company offering Medicare Supplement plans in SC can deny you coverage due to your medical history or elevate your premium rates.

This is why it’s always recommended that Medicare beneficiaries enroll in supplemental coverage as soon as they are eligible. If you are granted guaranteed issue rights due to a life-changing event, you may be eligible to enroll without underwriting. Regardless, enrollment is best conducted as soon as you are eligible.

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Additional Coverages for Medicare Beneficiaries in SC

Medicare Supplement plans in SC are not the only coverage option available to Medicare-eligible seniors. It is important for all eligible beneficiaries to know about the other ways to cover your healthcare expenses. Some of these coverage types pair with Medicare Supplement plans, while others are alternative options.

Furthermore, there are also expenses that Original Medicare benefits and Medigap plans in SC won’t cover. This can affect how you receive healthcare services and could even lead to larger health issues down the line, should you forgo receiving medical attention because of the cost of your visit or prescription drugs.

If you do not wish to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan in SC, a Medicare Advantage plan might be best for you. Medicare Advantage plans help combine Medicare Part A and Part B with additional benefits to create well-rounded plans that may offer more benefits than Original Medicare alone.

However, these plans involve strict networks, can have high maximum out-of-pocket costs, and require referrals when visiting specialists.

You’ll also note that each Medicare Advantage plan is different. This means that you’ll need to compare each plan to ensure it has the benefits that you require for your healthcare. Plan availability will vary from county to county, and just because a certain Medicare Advantage plan is available in your state doesn’t mean it’s available for you.

These factors need to be considered heavily as you may have limited access to healthcare, especially when traveling, or higher costs when receiving healthcare services.

You cannot have both a Medicare Supplement plan and Medicare Advantage coverage simultaneously. Therefore, you’ll need to consider your options and choose wisely to minimize your expenses today and in the future.

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Medicare Part D is another important consideration for any beneficiary, as these plans cover prescription drug benefits. Prescription drugs do not receive coverage from Original Medicare or Medicare Supplement plans in SC (or any state), so Medicare Part D is available to help with this coverage.

The most important thing to remember about Medicare Part D is that, like Medigap and Medicare Advantage, private insurance companies offer these plans, each with its own formulary you’ll need to consider. Your Medicare Part D formulary will list every prescription drug covered under your plan. Therefore, it’s important to check that your medications are covered before enrolling.

Dental, vision, and hearing plans are also available for those who wish to have coverage for these benefits. Maintaining oral health is vital to living a healthy life, so many seniors enroll in these stand-alone coverage plans.

These benefits are all important to consider because, under normal circumstances, neither Original Medicare nor Medigap plans in South Carolina will cover such healthcare services.

Additionally, while you may find Medicare Advantage plans with such benefits, it is important to note the variation in plan availability and provider networks from county to county that can reduce the ease of receiving care.

How to Sign Up for Medicare Supplement Plans in SC

Deciding between the Medigap plans in South Carolina can be difficult, but with the help of a licensed Medicare agent, you can compare your needs with the benefits available and make an informed decision.

Additionally, looking at other forms of coverage, such as Medicare Advantage plans, may also be a better choice for your needs. Whatever benefits best suit you, the team at MedicareFAQ is here to help.

We have a full staff of licensed agents who are experts in all things Medicare. Our agents work with clients just like you each day to help them determine the best Medicare plans for their needs. We set up a side-by-side comparison of all the top policies and carriers in your area to help you understand how each option can fit your life.

To receive your free plan comparison, call us at the number above. If you can’t call now, no worries! Complete our online rate form to receive your rates for Medicare Supplement plans in SC today.

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Sources:

MedicareFAQ is dedicated to providing you with authentic and trustworthy Medicare information. We have strict sourcing guidelines and work diligently to serve our readers with accurate and up-to-date content.

  1. Medicare Supplement Insurance 2023 Shopper’s Guide, SC DOI. Accessed June 2023.
    https://doi.sc.gov/DocumentCenter/View/12667/2020-Brochure---Medicare-Supp-Shop-Guide-Rev-2018-01-AR

Buddy Blouin

  • Content Strategist

Buddy Blouin is a healthcare writer helping seniors learn more about their coverage options. A graduate of Nicholls State University, Buddy helps educate people about complex health topics in a simple, digestible way.

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