Senior Medicare Advantage plan insurance in Aiken, SC
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Helping Seniors Make Better-Informed Medicare Decisions
Trying to pick a health insurance plan can be a chore for anyone. For many people, just mentioning the word "open enrollment" sends shivers down the spine. It seems like there's always a nagging feeling that you're wasting money, choosing a plan with poor in-network care, or both. One would think that health insurance gets easier as you approach retirement age, but the truth is that picking an initial Medicare coverage plan can be daunting.
Unfortunately, the confusing process of signing up for Medicare causes many seniors to forego healthcare coverage altogether. After all, Medicare enrollment can involve several federal agencies, including the Social Security Administration (or SSA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (or CMS).
At Senior Medicare Insurance Services, our passion is guiding seniors through the confusion of Medicare. That way, they can enjoy retirement with peace of mind knowing they are protected and ready for life after 65. We work with dozens of insurance companies, giving our clients the chance to choose a plan that best fits their lifestyle.
We choose to design our senior insurance plans with a focus on optimal benefits structure, lower costs, and personalized service. Some independent insurance agencies see their aging customers as nothing more than a financial transaction waiting to happen. In contrast, we treat each of our clients with respect and dignity as we help them navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. Combined with individualized service, we help older Americans make well-informed decisions about insurance. Whether you're in need of senior Medicare Supplement Plan insurance in Aiken or simply have questions about signing up for Medicare, our team is here to help.
Guiding You Through The Confusion of Medicare!Request a Consultation
What is Medicare?
If you're approaching the golden years of your life, it's important you understand what Medicare is if you don't already.
Medicare is a federal health insurance program reserved for people older than 65 who have worked full-time for at least ten years. The Medicare program is paid for by a combination of worker payroll tax, premiums paid by Medicare enrollees, and the U.S. government.
There are four parts of Medicare:
The amount of money you pay for your health care depends on several factors, including:
At Senior Medicare Insurance Services, we offer a number of health insurance solutions for seniors. Two of our most used services include Medicare Advantage plan insurance and Medicare supplement plan insurance.
Senior Medicare Supplement Plan Insurance in Aiken
Sometimes called Medigap, the purpose of Medicare Supplement Insurance is to help fill in "gaps" that might not be covered by Original Medicare. You can think of a Medigap policy as a supplement for your Original Medicare benefits.
Private companies like Senior Medicare Insurance Services sell this type of insurance right here in South Carolina. While Original Medicare will pay for much of the cost associated with health care services you need, it may not cover all of your expenses. Generally, Medigap policies do not cover costs stemming from eyeglasses, private-duty nurses, dental care, hearing aids, or long-term care.
Depending on the Medicare Supplement Plan that you choose, it may cover out-of-the-country medical services when you travel abroad. Assuming you have Original Medicare coverage, your policy will cover its share of Medicare-approved health care costs. Once your Original Medicare coverage reaches its limit, your Medigap policy will pay its share of the fees.
Our Medigap policies are drafted to meet your specific needs, and can help cover remaining health care costs such as:
Important Information About Senior Supplement Plan Insurance
To dispel some confusion, you should know that a Medigap policy is not the same as a Medicare Advantage Plan. The latter helps you receive Medicare benefits, while the former supplements the benefits you obtain through your Original Medicare plan. As you begin to explore Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, keep the following important information in mind:
As you begin to explore Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, keep the following important information in mind:
- To qualify for a Medigap policy, you must first have Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
- Payments on your Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan will be made to the private insurance company that you choose, like Senior Medicare Insurance Services. These payments are made every month and are paid in addition to the monthly payment you make for Medicare Part B.
- If you are the holder of a Medicare Advantage Plan, it is illegal for an insurance company to sell you a senior Medicare Supplement Policy. If you plan on switching back to an Original Medicare plan, you may be able to purchase a Medigap policy.
- If you have health problems as you age, your standardized Medigap policy is guaranteed to be renewable. So long as you pay your monthly premium, your insurance provider cannot cancel your policy.
- Medigap policies only cover one person. If you have a spouse or family member that would like coverage, they must purchase a separate policy.
- You may only buy a Senior Medicare Supplement Plan from an insurance agent that is licensed to sell them in your state. Senior Medicare Insurance Services has been licensed to sell Medigap policies in South Carolina for years. We have helped countless seniors get the Medicare coverage they need and continue to do so to this day.
- In the past, Medigap policies were able to cover costs related to prescription drugs. As of January 1st, 2006, prescription drug coverage is not available on Medicare Supplement Plans. The best way to get coverage for your prescription drugs is to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, often called Part D. Contact our office today to learn more about paying premiums on Medigap and Medicare plans.
Senior Medicare Advantage Plan Insurance in Aiken, SC
A Medicare Advantage Plan is a kind of Medicare health coverage designed to provide seniors with all their Part A and Part B Medicare benefits. Many Medicare Advantage Plans will often include coverage of the following:
In addition, most Medicare Advantage Plans give seniors coverage for their prescription drug needs. When you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan through Senior Medicare Insurance Services, your Medicare benefits are covered through your plan and will not be paid for by traditional Medicare.
How Medicare Advantage Plans Work
Sometimes called "MA Plans" or "Part C," Medicare Advantage Plans are considered an "all in one" solution to Original Medicare. Senior Medicare Advantage Plans are only offered by private companies that are approved, like Senior Medicare Insurance Services. Seniors who enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan are still on Medicare. However, these individuals enjoy bundled plans that give seniors the benefits of hospital insurance (Medicare Part A), medical insurance (Medicare Part B), and sometimes drug coverage (Part D).
Medicare Advantage Plans are very popular because they cover all Medicare services and make life a little easier for seniors who have trouble understanding the nuances of Medicare.
When you contact Senior Medicare Insurance Services to choose your Medicare Advantage Plan, ask your agent about Medicare prescription drug coverage. Unless you already have drug coverage (Part D), you should seriously consider Part D coverage to help reduce costs associated with prescription drugs. You may also want to consider a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan to help fill gaps in coverage that Original Medicare will not cover.
Medicare Advantage Plan Insurance Rules
Medicare works by paying a set amount of money to the companies that offer senior Medicare Advantage Plan insurance in Aiken. That money is used to pay for the care services that you need. Because Medicare Advantage Plans are different, you should expect out-of-pocket costs to vary depending on the plan you choose.
Different plans have different rules for how you receive services, such as:
- If you must go to facilities, suppliers, or doctors that belong to your Advantage Plan for non-urgent and non-emergency care.
- Whether you must get a referral to see a specialized doctor
Companies that offer Medicare Advantage Plans must follow strict rules, which are set by Medicare and can change every year.
Paying for Your Senior Medicare Advantage Plan Insurance
How much you pay for your Medicare Advantage Plan varies and depends on a few different factors. In most cases, if you need a kind of medical service, you will need to rely on the doctors and providers in your plan's service area and network to pay the lowest amounts. In some cases, if you choose to use a service outside of your plan's network of coverage, you may have to pay out-of-pocket.
We encourage you to contact our office today to learn more about Medicare Advantage Plans, how they work, what your options are, and how often you will have to pay out-of-pocket, if at all.
The Senior Medicare Insurance Services Commitment
Since our company was founded, we have led the insurance industry by providing our clients with the most valuable, helpful insurance solutions available. We are fully committed to our current and prospective clients by:
- Choosing to focus on personalized, one-on-one service. When you work with our team, know that we will always design your health insurance plan with your best interests in mind.
- Listening to your specific needs.
- Responding to all inquiries and questions promptly and with a friendly attitude.
- Providing you with the best customer service in the senior health insurance industry, whether you have questions or are ready to move forward with a Medicare plan.
Our mission is to help give seniors the best Medicare assistance available so that they may understand the Medicare process and make an informed health coverage decision. We have the knowledge, skills, and experience to assist anyone interested in Medicare. Our personal goal is to become a lifetime resource for our clients and give them greater confidence in choosing their insurance plans.
Latest News in Aiken, SC
City of Aiken Announce Funding for Powderhouse Road Connector
15 August 2022 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEAiken, SC – South Carolina State Senator Tom Young, Mayor Rick Osbon, and Aiken City Council members announced securing funding for the $37 million Powderhouse Connector project. The announcement occurred at a press conference held at Newberry Hall in Aiken on September 15, 2022. The project, first developed in 2006, is projected to reduce traffic on Whiskey Road by as much as 24 percent.The City of Aiken presented the project to the State Infrastructure Bank on September 8, 2022, and w...
15 August 2022 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aiken, SC – South Carolina State Senator Tom Young, Mayor Rick Osbon, and Aiken City Council members announced securing funding for the $37 million Powderhouse Connector project. The announcement occurred at a press conference held at Newberry Hall in Aiken on September 15, 2022. The project, first developed in 2006, is projected to reduce traffic on Whiskey Road by as much as 24 percent.
The City of Aiken presented the project to the State Infrastructure Bank on September 8, 2022, and was awarded $21.3 million in state funding. This funding, combined with additional funding from the City, County, and Federal governments, made this critical infrastructure improvement possible. The funding sources include a local contribution of $8.125 million from Capital Project Sales Tax revenue and other City funds, $621,000 from the Aiken County Transportation Committee, and $8 million from the United States Department of Transportation.
The construction is expected to commence mid-year 2023 and will be completed in two phases. The first phase will connect South Centennial Avenue, off of Corporate Parkway, to Whiskey Road at East Gate Drive. The second phase will connect Powderhouse Road with Whiskey Road at East Gate Drive.
In attendance were SC State Senator Tom Young and some members of the City Council. Provided below are some of their quotes.
Council Member Gail Diggs District 1 “Finally, we are moving forward to the solution of traffic congestion on Whiskey road. This is going to make a huge difference.”
Council Member Lessie Price District 2 “The City Council members are thankful to our Senator Tom Young, our Mayor and City Manager, and staff for the work that they’re doing. This means a lot to our town, and we’ll see that growth flowing within the next five years.”
Council Member Kay Brohl District 3 “This plan began when I was on the planning commission 20 years ago, and it takes so long to get all the different pieces of land and the funding. And I am so happy with what’s come through to help alleviate all the traffic on Whiskey Road.”
Council Member Ed Girardeau – District 4 “I look ahead to the Powerhouse Connector, which will be significant to alleging traffic congestion and making a great bridge from the south to the east.”
Council Member Andrea Neira Gregory District 5 “Being a member of the Aiken, Augusta Regional Transportation Commission also has provided me the opportunity to really see the project into fruition. I’m honored to serve my constituents and to get this project down the road and going.”
Council Member Ed Woltz District 6 “This will be an excellent opportunity for Aiken to get traffic off of Whiskey road and help the whole City move better throughout the City.”
Mayor Rick Osbon “The essential news for Aiken citizens is that it offers relief to an estimated 18 to 24% of traffic on our most congested highway. And it will be a game changer for everyone who lives or travels in that area.”
SC State Senator Tom Young “Our Aiken County Legislative Delegation has worked tirelessly together on this. And we’re so happy with the final product that this road will finally be funded and help alleviate traffic on Whiskey Road.”
City Manager Stuart Bedenbaugh “This was a team effort through the hard work of our elected officials and staff. Senator Graham’s office was also very helpful in advocating for this extra funding. This project has truly been an inter-governmental effort and now the real work begins.”
‘It’s heartbreaking’: Equine Rescue of Aiken’s desperate cry for help
AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - For 16 years, the Equine Rescue of Aiken has rescued horses, nursing them back to health so they can find a new loving home.But the last few years have been a struggle.In 2020, they say they lost 60 percent of their revenue because of the pandemic. In 2021, a fire cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars.Now they’re having to turn horse...
AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - For 16 years, the Equine Rescue of Aiken has rescued horses, nursing them back to health so they can find a new loving home.
But the last few years have been a struggle.
In 2020, they say they lost 60 percent of their revenue because of the pandemic. In 2021, a fire cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Now they’re having to turn horses away because they’re at capacity.
When you hear the Equine Rescue of Aiken, some of you may not know where that is or what it is, but they work to help horses who have been neglected or haven’t been taken care of.
The non-profit has struggled over the past few years, and now they’re asking for the community’s help.
Irish Snow is just one example of the work the Equine Rescue of Aiken does to help neglected and starving horses.
“We’re helping them get back to health and giving them lots of love and attention, and hopefully, they will find a new forever, loving home,” said Equine Manager Ashley Wallick.
Over the past three months, they’ve rescued five more horses.
They say they’re only seeing more cases like Snow’s, Justice’s, and Gracie’s.
“It’s heartbreaking. It’s hard not to cry every time,” said Wallick. “They deserve a wonderful life.”
The past few years have made that difficult.
Executive Director Jim Rhodes said: “In 2019, we had a banner year. Donations were up, our programs were running strong, and everything was going great, but little did we know that in just a few short months that the whole world would be shut down with COVID.”
It’s been rough trying to get back on the saddle. A pandemic in 2020, a barn fire in 2021, and inflation; are all taking shots.
“Gas, diesel, fertilizer, hay, feed, grain, trucking, you name it, and it’s gone sky high,” he said.
Just three years ago, their horse count was 75 plus. They can only budget for 42 now.
“We’re getting calls on a daily basis of people needing help or wanting help, and we’re having to say ‘No’. It’s hard to say no,” he said.
As the biggest rescue in the southeast, they need all the support they can get
“We need the public’s help to keep going with our programs and all that,” said Rhodes.
Right now, the rescue has a brick fundraiser going on. There are several different options for you to buy. The money goes towards helping to rebuild the new rescue after their old one burned down.
Copyright 2022 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.
Aiken County schools boost perks to tackle bus driver shortage
AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - School bus driver shortages continue to be a problem for our local districts.But Tuesday night, Aiken County tacked on more benefits to entice new employees.Some bus drivers tell us they are driving more than two routes a day while working a second job to make ends meet.The Aiken County Public School Board met to discuss how they can keep the drivers they have and offer incentives to hire new ones.One bus driver says she has never driven an elementary route before, and now she drives two ...
AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - School bus driver shortages continue to be a problem for our local districts.
But Tuesday night, Aiken County tacked on more benefits to entice new employees.
Some bus drivers tell us they are driving more than two routes a day while working a second job to make ends meet.
The Aiken County Public School Board met to discuss how they can keep the drivers they have and offer incentives to hire new ones.
One bus driver says she has never driven an elementary route before, and now she drives two a day while working as a teacher’s aide.
The shortage has staff in Aiken County dividing and conquering to make sure all of the kids are taken care of.
“Yesterday I picked up, and today I probably will as well. An extra high school middle school route. This means I’m working 12 and a half hour days,” said Lisa Lewis.
She has been a bus driver in the Aiken County Public School District for 24 years. Even though she’s camera shy, she’s not shy about speaking out about the issues they’re facing.
“Some of these drivers come back at 9:30 10 o’clock at night and are back in the morning at five,” said Lewis.
As of Tuesday, school officials say they are 34 bus drivers short. Buses are at capacity, and she says they often have to leave kids at the school and circle back a second time.
“Middle school gets out at 3:15 p.m. You’re seeing kids still there at 4:30 p.m. You go by the high school, high school gets out at 3:30 p.m., you’re seeing kids still there at 5 to 5:15 p.m.,” she said.
District 3 Board Member Brian Silas has seen the issue firsthand. He took a ride with Lewis.
“Something I really learned that morning is these bus drivers are the first face that a lot of our kids see during the day, so it can really impact how that child’s day starts,” he said.
Board members voted on $1 raises for everyone and continued signing bonuses of $1,000 to keep their drivers and try to attract more.
“I think that bus drivers are undervalued by so many people, and it’s such an important job. We’ve got to do a better job of recruiting and retaining and keeping our bus drivers,” said Silas.
Lewis said: “I love my job. I love these children. I’ve been here way too long to quit. The benefits of retirement, as far as having insurance, is amazing.”
Copyright 2022 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.
Fate of Aiken’s Project Pascalis up in the air
AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — A huge redevelopment project in Aiken could be on hold.“I think Aiken needs to keep what it’s got. It’s a great place for people to come visit,” Robert Harte told NewsChannel 6’s Aiken Bureau Chief Shawn Cabbagestalk. “The public is really paying attention and that’s a positive, we have a tremendous piece of property here that needs to be redeveloped,” chairman of the Aiken Municipal Development Commission Keith Wood added.Project Pascal...
AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) — A huge redevelopment project in Aiken could be on hold.
“I think Aiken needs to keep what it’s got. It’s a great place for people to come visit,” Robert Harte told NewsChannel 6’s Aiken Bureau Chief Shawn Cabbagestalk. “The public is really paying attention and that’s a positive, we have a tremendous piece of property here that needs to be redeveloped,” chairman of the Aiken Municipal Development Commission Keith Wood added.
Project Pascalis – a 75-million-dollar project to revitalize downtown Aiken — may be coming to an end.
“We decided to file a motion or proposed a motion to stop project Project Pascalis to also make the agreement with the developer, null and void, and also amend and or redo the redevelopment plan,” Wood shared.
Aiken Municipal Development Commission stopped the project after a three-hour executive session.
“That enables our legal counsel to do some additional due diligence to make sure we’re moving forward in the right manner,” he added.
Community opposition to the plan includes several lawsuits and a grassroots effort called “Stop Project Pascalis.”
“The whole process is to ensure we’re following the South Carolina redevelopment law. that’s the basis for the lawsuit that was filed on the fifth. So we’re trying to ensure that that process was followed, to the law. it is our intent,” Wood said.
If the plans move forward, several historic buildings will be demolished, replacing them with a hotel, apartments, and a parking garage.
“The demolition was part of the process that the developer was going through with the and design review board. It was tied to the agreement that we have. If we decide to stop that project, then the agreement to demolish the hotel will be reviewed again,” he added. “I’m against anything that involves the building of a structure that’s more than three stories high. I think it would change the character of Aiken,” Harte said.
There is no date to let developers know the city’s plans to move forward. A vote on whether to stop the project will be held the week of Sept. 26.
If it fails, “We’ll start the process over again. Which means that we’ll look at what’s going to be the scope of the new potential discussions we’re gonna have with developers and the process moving forward,” Wood shared.
If the commission votes during the week of Sept. 26, it’ll be the second time an effort to redevelop Hotel Aiken has failed.
The Renaissance Project also failed.
Lawsuit over Aiken County and city of Aiken road maintenance fees dismissed
A lawsuit filed over road maintenance fees collected by the city of Aiken and Aiken County has been dismissed.William Keesley, a circuit court judge in South Carolina’s 11th Judicial Circuit, issued orders on Aug. 5 and Aug. 8 dismissing the suit filed by Jane Page Thompson and her husband, Mark, on Nov. 2, 2021.The 11th Judicial Circuit includes Edgefield, Lexington, Saluda and McCormick counties.Aiken County enacted a road maintenance fee in 1992 and charged $25 per vehicle during the 2020-2021 fiscal year. The c...
A lawsuit filed over road maintenance fees collected by the city of Aiken and Aiken County has been dismissed.
William Keesley, a circuit court judge in South Carolina’s 11th Judicial Circuit, issued orders on Aug. 5 and Aug. 8 dismissing the suit filed by Jane Page Thompson and her husband, Mark, on Nov. 2, 2021.
The 11th Judicial Circuit includes Edgefield, Lexington, Saluda and McCormick counties.
Aiken County enacted a road maintenance fee in 1992 and charged $25 per vehicle during the 2020-2021 fiscal year. The city of Aiken enacted a road maintenance fee in 2017 and collected $20 per vehicle during the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Annually, the fees net the county millions of dollars; the city, hundreds of thousands.
The Thompsons filed the suit as individuals shortly after the South Carolina Supreme Court issued its decision in Burns v. Greenville County against Aiken County Administrator Clay Killian, Aiken County Treasurer Jason Goings, Aiken County, the city of Aiken and City Manager Stuart Bedenbaugh.
In Burns, the court determined that the road maintenance fee collected by Greenville County was a tax that violated state law requiring taxes to be value-based property taxes or specifically authorized by the South Carolina General Assembly.
The Thompsons argued in their suit that the road maintenance fees collected by the county and the city were also illegal taxes and that the city and county should have to return the fees they collected and pay penalties for collecting the illegal fees.
In April, the Thompsons conceded to the dismissal of Killian and Bedenbaugh from the suit.
Keesley said in his order dismissing the city defendants the Thompsons conceded that their request to declare the city’s fee illegal was made moot when the city council voted to rescind the fee as of July and to refund any monies collected since.
Bedenbaugh said the city believed it had always acted in good faith regarding the road maintenance fees.
In his order dismissing the county defendants, Keesley said contrary to the plaintiff’s argument that all road maintenance fees were illegal because of Burns, a fee can be legal if set up properly.
Aiken County Council Chairman Gary Bunker said the council always felt the county had a strong case and that they were not surprised by the dismissal.
Also, an act of the South Carolina General Assembly specifically gives cities and counties the ability to collect road maintenance fees. The act was approved by the South Carolina House of Representatives and South Carolina Senate on June 15. Gov. Henry McMaster signed it into law on June 22.
With the issue of whether the taxes were legal settled, Keesley said the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to litigate disputes over tax refunds.
Subject matter jurisdiction is the authority of a court to hear disputes.
Keesley said disputes over tax refunds are to be decided in administrative court pursuant to the Revenue Procedures Act.
The Thompsons also asked the court to certify a class of all people who paid either the city or county fee.
A class action suit allows many plaintiffs with similar claims against the same defendant or defendants to litigate their claims in one setting. The first step of a class action lawsuit for the court is to determine that a class of people with similar claims exists.
Keesley said in his orders dismissing the case that a class cannot be certified because of a provision in state law, specifically S.C. Code Ann. § 12-60-80(C), that prevents class certification in suits over tax refunds and generally prohibits class action suits against governmental defendants over tax refunds.
The Thompsons have filed motions asking Keesley to reconsider his decision dismissing the cases and to clarify if he meant to dismiss the Thompsons’ individual claims, too.
The judge has not yet ruled on the motions to reconsider.
The Thompsons are also among the plaintiffs named in a suit filed at the Supreme Court challenging the act legalizing road maintenance fees. The city of Aiken has asked to join as a defendant.
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