Senior Medicare Advantage plan insurance in Bluffton, 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 Bluffton or simply have questions about signing up for Medicare, our team is here to help.

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Medicare Bluffton, SC

Guiding You Through The Confusion of Medicare!

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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:

 Senior Medicare Advantage Plan Insurance Bluffton, SC

This type of Medicare is free for most U.S. citizens. Medicare Part A helps older adults pay for care in a nursing facility, hospital visits, and some forms of in-home senior care.

This tier costs around $100 per month. It covers different outpatient services like lab tests, preventative care, doctor's visits, mental health care, clinical trials, and some forms of surgery.

This type of Medicare is most often called Medicare Advantage. This tier of Medicare allows seniors to choose health plans provided by insurance companies like Senior Medicare Insurance Services. Individuals who use Medicare Advantage commonly use Medicare supplement plan insurance to help pay for health care costs that Original Medicare won't cover, like coinsurance, deductibles, and copayments.

Sometimes called "PDPs," these plans add drug coverage to standard Medicare, some Medicare Private Fee-for-Service Plans (PFFS), some Medicare Cost Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans (MSA).

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 Bluffton

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:

 Senior Medicare Plans Bluffton, SC

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.

For many people, the best time to buy senior Medicare Supplement Plan Insurance in Bluffton is during the 7 months Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This period starts the day you turn 65 years old, so long as you hold Medical Insurance (Medicare Part B). Generally, during the enrollment period, you get more policy choices and better pricing. Once the enrollment period is over, you may not be able to purchase a Medigap policy. Contact Senior Medicare Insurance Services today to determine if you qualify for a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan.

Senior Medicare Advantage Plan Insurance in Bluffton, 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:

 Medicare Plans Bluffton, SC

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.

 Senior Health Insurance Bluffton, SC

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 Bluffton. 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
 Healthcare Bluffton, SC

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.

 Burial Insurance Bluffton, SC

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.
 Medicare Advantage Bluffton, SC

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 Bluffton, SC

45K gallons of wastewater spilled in Bluffton neighborhood. Here’s what happened

An estimated 45,000 gallons of wastewater were released from a gravity main Saturday in Bluffton, according to a Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority news release Monday evening, but the spill did not impact the water system in the area and water coming into homes is safe to use and drink.The cause? A structural failure of the main at the manhole located in The Farm neighborhood.Dirt got into the failed section, and the weight of the dir...

An estimated 45,000 gallons of wastewater were released from a gravity main Saturday in Bluffton, according to a Beaufort-Jasper Water and Sewer Authority news release Monday evening, but the spill did not impact the water system in the area and water coming into homes is safe to use and drink.

The cause? A structural failure of the main at the manhole located in The Farm neighborhood.

Dirt got into the failed section, and the weight of the dirt, as well as the actual sediment, led to a blockage precipitating the overflow of thousands of gallons of wastewater. The sewage flowed into the ponds of adjacent neighborhoods, the authority said, which was diluted by the deluge of rain Saturday night and Sunday.

BJWSA notified the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control of the break, which the authority said did not impact the water system in the area.

Wastewater overflows of more than 5,000 gallons of untreated or partially treated domestic sewage “could cause” a serious adverse impact on the environment or public health, according to SCDHEC’s website.

About a year ago, a spill over 10 times that size happened in Beaufort. Then, in late January 2022, an estimated 500,000 gallons of sewage spilled from a sewer main into a tidal ditch that leads to Battery Creek in Beaufort. The spill occurred near the intersection of Parris Island Gateway and the Savannah Highway and prompted an immediate closure of shellfish harvest beds.

However, the Saturday wastewater overflow in The Farm neighborhood has not caused those types of impacts.

Pam Flasch, BJWSA director of public affairs, said Tuesday morning that the wastewater break has “absolutely no relation” to the authority’s water system, meaning water flowing in homes is safe to use and drink.

Because of the somewhat fortuitous weekend rainfall, the sheer volume of rain diluted what could’ve affected the ponds. Flasch said the break’s impact couldn’t have reached the May River.

While the Saturday overflow in The Farm neighborhood has been stopped and crews are continuing cleanup, Flasch said the biggest issue remains a traffic detour to avoid the break for safety reasons. The detour will remain in place until repairs are finished.

Because the manhole couldn’t be saved, the area is served with a bypass pump to ensure service isn’t disrupted, the BJWSA said. The authority expects repairs will take “several weeks.”

According to BJWSA, it continues to communicate with residents at The Farm and the Homeowners Association on the repair schedule and potential impacts.

The authority delivers about 10 million gallons of wastewater each day to eight wastewater treatment facilities for treatment and disposal. For any suspected or seen sewer collection system spills, call BJWSA at 843-987-9200.

This story was originally published February 14, 2023, 1:05 PM.

The Best Things To Do In Bluffton, South Carolina

Claiming the moniker “Heart of the Lowcountry,” Bluffton is a small town chock-full of character, history, and hospitality. Whether...

Claiming the moniker “Heart of the Lowcountry,” Bluffton is a small town chock-full of character, history, and hospitality. Whether you're visiting for a day or a weekend, you'll find plenty to do. Here are some of our top picks.

What To Do In Bluffton

When you arrive in town, make a stop at the Cole-Heyward House, which is the official Welcome Center. The Heyward House Museum and Welcome Center is owned and operated by the Historic Bluffton Foundation, a nonprofit that is dedicated to the preservation of the culture and history of the town. You can tour the House Museum, which was built in 1841 by enslaved people. It is one of only eight antebellum homes that remain in the Lowcountry.

Three blocks from the Welcome Center, admire the 1857 Anglican church, The Church of the Cross. Federal troops burned Bluffton during the Civil War, but spared this building.

Walk along Calhoun Street, the center of the town's arts and cultural district, which is filled with eclectic galleries and specialty shops. The Society of Bluffton Artists (SOBA), showcases more than 100 local artists, and offers workshops and exhibits. Next door is Bluffton General Store, where you can purchase unique gifts and coastal collectibles.

Afternoon is the ideal time to get out on the water with a guided adventure with May River Excursions. Be on the lookout for Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, or set sail at dusk underneath the cotton candy pink South Carolina sunset.

Where To Stay

Staying in Old Town gives you easy access to explore the area by foot. The first and only boutique hotel in the neighborhood is Old Town Bluffton Inn. Owned by husband-and-wife team Vince and Danielle Harrison, the elegantly designed hotel has 14 rooms, custom-made furnishings and original art, plus a lovely pale pink parlor and breezy front porch.

If you're looking for a stay with lots of on-site activities and amenities, the luxury resort Montage Palmetto Bluff consumes 20,000-acres along the May River. From pro shops to a Paris market, paddle boarding to golfing, Montage crafts luxury experiences specific to each guest. For a romantic outdoor adventure, try the "Veuve Clicquot Picnic + Pedal," which includes bike rentals, your choice of five picnic basket menus (the "Day Date" includes canapés, tea sandwiches, and a variety of sweets to please every palate), plus a bottle of bubbly, of course.

Where To Eat And Drink

Fuel up for a day of fun at The Cottage Café where chef Leslie Rohland dishes out Southern cuisine with a twist. Begin with a mimosa (there are three types to choose from), then tuck into a Crabby Southerner—a fried green tomato, crab cake, and poached egg perched on an English muffin.

Another option is Corner Perk Brunch Café and Coffee Roasters where the hot coffee is freshly roasted and the Huevos Rancheros are nice and spicy. Order a Tiramisu Whipped Cold Brew to go as you stroll through Old Town.

No visit to Bluffton is complete without a visit to Bluffton Oyster Company. Since 1899, the family-owned business has been harvesting fresh Bluffton oysters, the star of the May River from September through May. Take home an order of oysters, shrimp, blue crab, or fresh fish, or devour the fresh catch at the family’s Bluffton Oyster Company Seafood Restaurant. Seafood doesn't get any fresher than this.

FARM serves dinner with an ever-changing menu celebrating the fishers, farmers, and other local producers behind its food. Sample roasted oysters with horseradish souffle, chives, and saltines; grilled snapper with butterbeans; or pickled shrimp. Whatever you choose, don't miss the brown butter cornbread. Although the menu has global influences, chef Brandon Carter says the region inspires his cooking. “It’s the way the salt air smells. It’s the oyster beds that you can see from the banks of the May River," he says. "There’s a real sense of place and community here that you don’t find very often these days.”

Likewise, the Waterson brothers at Burnt Church Distillery craft spirits to honor South Carolina’s history. Every bottle has a story, like the Sin Eater Cinnamon Smoky Whiskey. Dating back to the 1600s, Sin Eaters were social outcasts who took sins of others upon themselves.

Chefs and Lowcountry farmers come together to make one great dining experience at Nectar Farm Kitchen in Old Town. The fried bologna sandwich will take you back to your childhood, and the butter bean burger is like nothing you've ever tasted. The restaurant has a complete cocktail and wine list, and Nectar Brewing Company, a craft brewery located in the kitchen.

Beaufort County to buy land in one of Bluffton’s fastest-growing areas. Here’s what is planned

(Editor’s note: This story has been changed to reflect who owned the land to be purchased by the county.)Affordable housing is planned along Bluffton’s busy Buckwalter Parkway, but that doesn’t necessarily mean apartments.The Beaufort County Council on Monday night authorized the purchase of two parcels of land equaling 10 acres next to the Lord of Life Lutheran Church, in Bluffton, but owned by St Andrews by the Sea. The county plans to establish affordable or workforce housing on the land.At th...

(Editor’s note: This story has been changed to reflect who owned the land to be purchased by the county.)

Affordable housing is planned along Bluffton’s busy Buckwalter Parkway, but that doesn’t necessarily mean apartments.

The Beaufort County Council on Monday night authorized the purchase of two parcels of land equaling 10 acres next to the Lord of Life Lutheran Church, in Bluffton, but owned by St Andrews by the Sea. The county plans to establish affordable or workforce housing on the land.

At the moment, the county is only moving forward with the purchase of the land, which will cost them $3.6 million from the General Fund. County officials say it’s too early to say what sort of properties would be best suited for those 10 acres.

Councilman Logan Cunningham, whose district includes the Buckwalter area, said he would prefer the properties not be rentals. Instead, Cunningham would like to see single-family or starter homes that can be purchased rather than rented.

“It’s got to be more than just rental properties because the rental properties just keep jacking their prices up,” said Cunningham. “People can actually reinvest in themselves instead of paying the money to a big company that’s running and managing the property or one [owner] that owns 20 things.”

However, the advantage of apartments, according to County Administrator Eric Greenway, is a potential to reduce traffic while using the land more densely. About 140-150 apartment units could fit on the property compared with about 70-80 townhouses or a dozen or more homes.

Greenway sees advantages and disadvantages to both options.

“Of course, apartments are going to get a large number of units, you’re going to help more people, but it’s not very long-term,” he said. “A [property] that they can buy outright might be a better situation for this bigger property, in this location, than anything else.”

Cunningham said he’ll hold a town hall forum later about the project to educate and gauge how his district would like the property handled.

The County Council will make the final decision on the project. The purchase is expected to close at the end of April and Greenway doesn’t expect anything to be done with the property until early next year.

The 10 acres’ proximity to Buckwalter would give the future residents easy access to the many amenities of Buckwalter Place, something the county says makes the location very appealing for a housing project.

Buckwalter Place has grown a lot since it was established nearly a decade ago. It’s added the culinary institute of the south, medical facilities, two grocery stores and multiple businesses and restaurants.

“This is kind of one of those internal opportunities where the folks can live there and shop and go to restaurants and usually go to work without having to travel,” Greenway said. “There’s a lot of employment opportunities there.”

This is one of the first strides the county has made this year toward affordable housing. More is expected to come as the multi-government regional housing trust fund comes online.

The trust will see local towns, cities and counties create a joint fund to create and promote affordable housing across the southern Lowcountry. Beaufort County will be the largest contributor giving more than $3.4 million in 10 years.

“This highlights our commitment to actually meeting the need of affordable housing,” said Greenway.

This story was originally published March 1, 2023, 12:17 PM.

Three takeaways from South Carolina football NFL Draft Pro Day from Cam Smith to Josh Vann

COLUMBIA — On Monday, 13 former South Carolina football players participated in the Gamecocks' NFL Draft...

COLUMBIA — On Monday, 13 former South Carolina football players participated in the Gamecocks' NFL Draft Pro Day hosted at the team's indoor practice facility in Columbia.

Representatives of all 32 NFL franchises were present to observe Pro Day. Five former Gamecocks — DBs Cam Smith Darius Rush, DT Zacch Pickens, OL Jovaughn Gwyn and WR Jalen Brooks — were also invited to participate in the NFL Combine from Feb. 28-March 4, and all worked out again Monday.

Brooks saw significant improvement in his 40-yard dash time from the Combine, running a 4.53 after clocking a 4.69 in Indianapolis. Center Eric Douglas led the eight players who bench pressed with 22 reps, though that would have ranked near the bottom among linemen who tested at the Combine.

Here are the key takeaways from South Carolina's Pro Day.

SPRING PRACTICE:South Carolina football roster 2023: What we know with spring practice starting March 13

VETERAN TRANSFER:How Deangelo Gibbs landed with South Carolina football after stops at Georgia, Tennessee

MARCH MADNESS:Scouting the bracket path to the NCAA championship for South Carolina women's basketball

Josh Vann feeling good after injury

Wide receiver Josh Vann was a standout for South Carolina in 2021, but he had an underwhelming performance after opting to remain in Columbia for 2022. He suffered a knee injury in the regular-season finale against Clemson that ultimately required surgery, and he missed the Gator Bowl against Notre Dame.

"I couldn't do anything for like two and a half weeks. Seeing everybody, all those guys, out there competing and working while I just had to sit around, that messed me up mentally," Vann said. "I had to wear a knee brace for the first time in my life, which was ugly ... but I trusted the process and I'm here today."

On Monday, Vann didn't appear to have missed a beat during his recovery. He ran the fastest 40-yard dash of the nine players who tested coming in at 4.43 seconds. He also posted the group's longest broad jump of 10.5 feet and the highest vertical at 36 inches. All of those would have ranked in the middle among WRs who tested in Indianapolis.

"I'm just happy to be walking again ... let alone to come out and run," Vann said. "I'm tough, man. With all the talk about me not being mentally focused throughout the football season ... With all that being said, I come out here and just go to work. I've also got to be physically tough, and I feel like I was able to show that today."

Darius Rush's stock continues to rise

Defensive back Darius Rush exited the 2022 season as a potential late-round draft pick but has been on a steady rise since the Reese's Senior Bowl on Feb. 4. At the NFL Combine, Rush ran the fifth-best 40-yard dash time among corners at 4.36 seconds and is now widely projected to go in the third or fourth round.

"It started at the Reese's Bowl going out there and just competing ... The question was my long speed and how fast I was, so I went out to the Combine and ran a speed everybody was pleased with," Rush said with a smile. "It's just been amazing. It's still so surreal."

At South Carolina's Pro Day, Rush did not go through testing again but participated in position drills alongside fellow DBs Cam Smith and Devonni Reed. Rush and Smith spent the previous week training together in Charlotte, and Rush said their competitiveness helped elevate his draft preparation.

"When we were here, we competed against each other. The kind of competitor he is, and so am I, when we're training we try to compete 100% every time," Rush said. " We come out here and push each other, coach each other. We're hard on each other but we love each other."

Cam Smith aims to bulk up

Defensive back Cam Smith measured 6-foot-1, 180 pounds at the NFL Combine two weeks ago, and he was up just slightly to 183 at the Gamecocks' Pro Day. Smith is widely projected as a first-round prospect, and though he is listed as a cornerback, he spent most of his time at South Carolina playing nickelback. He said several NFL teams expressed interest in seeing him play inside in the pros, but his biggest hindrance there is size.

"A lot of people value that inside position, but I need to get bigger because most of the time you're more of a linebacker, not really a nickel," Smith said. "I'm eating healthy options, but really a load of it. I do some shakes — I get two shakes a day that are like 1,300 calories so each day I'm getting like a pound off of that."

How Deangelo Gibbs landed with South Carolina football after stops at Georgia, Tennessee

COLUMBIA — When South Carolina football added transfer defensive back Deangelo Gibbs to its 2023 roster, the name might have sounded familiar to SEC fans. However, before entering the transfer portal and enrolling with the Gamecocks, Gibbs had not played in nearly four years.Gibbs was a four-star prospect r...

COLUMBIA — When South Carolina football added transfer defensive back Deangelo Gibbs to its 2023 roster, the name might have sounded familiar to SEC fans. However, before entering the transfer portal and enrolling with the Gamecocks, Gibbs had not played in nearly four years.

Gibbs was a four-star prospect ranked in the top 50 coming out Grayson High School in Loganville, Georgia. He fielded offers from 32 colleges including South Carolina, and signed with Georgia in 2017. He played two seasons for the Bulldogs but struggled to live up to the recruiting hype, recording 10 total tackles in 13 appearances.

Gibbs transferred to Tennessee in 2019 to play for former coach Jeremy Pruitt. He redshirted his first season and opted out of the following season to "focus on his academics." Pruitt was fired shortly after the 2020 season following an in-house investigation by the university that found multiple Level I recruiting violations by the coaching staff.

SPRING PRACTICE:South Carolina football roster 2023: What we know with spring practice starting March 13

CLASS OF 2023:Why South Carolina football's 2023 recruiting class is a major win for coach Shane Beamer

BEAMER SIGNS EXTENSION:South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer's salary more than doubles in 2023 as contract extension set

"After my redshirt year at Tennessee, as you know, COVID hit. There had been things going on, a lot questions that were unanswered, so I decided to opt out," Gibbs said. "I was still working with the team, practicing, but there were a lot of things going on at the university at the time, so I decided just to back away from that because I didn't want my name and image to be affected ... and now I'm here."

How South Carolina rediscovered Gibbs

After leaving Tennessee, Gibbs found himself rudderless in a world that had always centered on athletics. He said he briefly enrolled at a small university in Florida hoping to play there but it ultimately "didn't work out," and he began preparing for a life and career after football. As a last-ditch effort, he entered the transfer portal after the 2022 season, and that's when South Carolina called.

"Thoughts of not being able to get back on the field, it definitely did come into my mind," Gibbs said. "I came from great universities where they have the potential to send guys off to the NFL, and that was always my goal when I was in high school, but things didn't go that way ... Once I got the call to visit (South Carolina), I couldn't deny that opportunity. I didn't know what I was going to be doing with my life, whether I was going to be playing ball or in the workforce but now that I'm here, I'm taking full advantage of this opportunity."

Gamecocks coach Shane Beamer was familiar with Gibbs. He was special teams coordinator and tight ends coach at Georgia during Gibbs' freshman season in 2017. Beamer heavily recruited Gibbs, but it was Derek Moore who made the connection at South Carolina. Moore, the executive director of character and player development for the Gamecocks, built a long-standing a relationship with Gibbs and his family during his 21 years working with Georgia Tech football

"We kind of lost track of him a little bit after he went to Tennessee ... D-Mo actually mentioned Deangelo to me in late October," Beamer said. "We promised him an opportunity to come in and compete, and we'll see what happens. He's been awesome. Obviously, he'll be the first to tell you he probably needs to lose weight and continue to get in shape. ... but he's an old soul, and he's got a great maturity about himself."

Where Gibbs fits on the Gamecocks' roster

Gibbs was the the No. 4 safety in the Class of 2017 but also worked at wide receiver at Georgia and Tennessee. He said he plans to primarily play defensive back with the Gamecocks but is open to getting involved on the offensive side if needed.

"When I first got here they were asking me what I wanted to play, and I was like hey whatever suits the team, whatever suits the culture," Gibbs said. "I chose to play DB because I feel like as a DB you've got to be more technically sound, you've got to be more fundamentally sound ... and I also believe as a DB its gets you more in shape because you have to follow and chase and tackle."

The journey to South Carolina has not been smooth, but Gibbs has no regrets about the challenges he has faced in his football career. He said he feels more prepared than ever to contribute to the team as a more complete person off the field.

"I wasn't perfect coming out of high school. I was young, and I was caught up in the limelight, caught up in wrong things," Gibbs said. "However, this opportunity has formed and shaped me to become a better man that I can truly be ... That's one thing I can say about Coach Beamer is he wants to prepare us for life in general, not just for these few years ... I see myself now as a better man, all around in every aspect."


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