Senior Medicare Advantage plan insurance in Charleston, 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 Charleston 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:
- What kind of care you need, and how often it is needed.
- The type of Medicare coverage you choose.
- Whether there are alternative insurance policies that will help fill gaps in your coverage
- Whether a doctor agrees to charge you the same amount that Medicare will cover for a medical service
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 Charleston
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.
For many people, the best time to buy senior Medicare Supplement Plan Insurance in Charleston 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 Charleston, 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:
- Preferred Provider Organizations
- Special Needs Plans
- Private Fee-for-Service
- Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans
- Health Maintenance Organizations
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 Charleston. 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 Charleston, SC
Passengers recount Carnival Sunshine taking on rough seas during return to port
Passengers aboard the Carnival Sunshine dealt with a scary end to their vacation as the cruise ship hit rough seas while trying to return to Charleston.Published: Mon May 29 2023CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Passengers aboard the Carnival Sunshine dealt with a scary end to their vacation as the cruise ship hit rough seas while trying to return to Charleston.Following a beautiful few days in the Bahamas, things shifted when the captain made an announcement saying they were going to experience some bad weather.“He...
Passengers aboard the Carnival Sunshine dealt with a scary end to their vacation as the cruise ship hit rough seas while trying to return to Charleston.
Published: Mon May 29 2023
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Passengers aboard the Carnival Sunshine dealt with a scary end to their vacation as the cruise ship hit rough seas while trying to return to Charleston.
Following a beautiful few days in the Bahamas, things shifted when the captain made an announcement saying they were going to experience some bad weather.
“He said you’re going to experience some storms and you can expect that you’ll probably get off the ship late, and that was I guess concerning to a lot of the passengers already,” passenger Brad Morrell said.
Morrell said the most startling part happened when they were in the piano bar. He said bottles of liquor started crashing into the floor.
“There were people crying in the stairwells, you know just very visibly shaken up,” Morrell said. “We got up to, I guess it was deck 11, I saw even some crew members sitting there just visibly shaken. We spoke to some of them the next day and they basically stated this was the worst storm they’ve ever experienced as a crew member on Carnival.”
A spokesperson for Carnival Cruises released this statement following the weekend storms:
Carnival Sunshine’s return to Charleston was impacted by the weather and rough seas on Saturday. The weather’s prolonged impact on the Charleston area delayed the ship’s arrival on Sunday and as a result, the next voyage’s embarkation was also delayed. We appreciate the patience and understanding of all our guests. Carnival Sunshine is now sailing on its next cruise.
Bree Davidson was aboard the cruise ship to celebrate her graduation. She said she feared for her safety.
“It was probably like 3 a.m. or so,” Davidson said. “We were laying in the top bunk of a bunk bed and the entire ship felt like it turned completely sideways. We were almost laying on the wall, and everything on the tables in our room just slid to the floor.”
According to the spokesperson from Carnival Cruises, guests on board were safe, but medical staff helped a small number of guests and crew members who needed minor assistance. In addition, some crew cabins are currently out of service on the next voyage while they clean up water damage. The public areas of the ship are open.
Morrell said he wished they would have done something different.
“I think there was probably a better plan, or should have been a better plan as opposed to just sitting out and spinning out in the Atlantic,” Morrell said.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
Water surges into rooms on Carnival cruise ship battered by waves off Charleston
Several passengers posted on social media about broken glass and water coming in through balcony doors.CHARLESTON, S.C. — A storm off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, battered a Carnival cruise ship for hours late Friday night before it docked, leaving passengers terrified.Passengers aboard the Carnival Sunshine described shattered glass, water pouring into rooms and hallways, the ship pitching about and a lack of communication from cruise sta...
Several passengers posted on social media about broken glass and water coming in through balcony doors.
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A storm off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, battered a Carnival cruise ship for hours late Friday night before it docked, leaving passengers terrified.
Passengers aboard the Carnival Sunshine described shattered glass, water pouring into rooms and hallways, the ship pitching about and a lack of communication from cruise staff. Some passengers and crew members needed "minor assistance" from medical staff, a Carnival cruise spokesman told CBS News. "Guests on board the ship were safe," the spokesman added.
Carnival Sunshine, which was headed from the Bahamas to South Carolina, arrived in Charleston behind schedule, according to the spokesman. Some crew cabins needed to be temporarily taken out of service because of water damage. The ship's next voyage, on which it has since embarked, was also delayed.
The National Hurricane Center on Friday warned of a non-tropical area of low pressure off Florida that was set to move northward and inland over the Carolinas during the weekend. Forecasters said there would be gusty winds, dangerous surf and rip current conditions along portions of the U.S.'s southeastern coast through Sunday.
Passenger Sharon Tutrone, a professor at Coastal Carolina University, tweeted Friday that the ship was rocking. She said that the only time passengers heard from the captain was in the afternoon, when he told them he had an experienced crew and would do everything he could to minimize discomfort as the ship encountered the storm.
"They said it will get worse as we get closer to the storm," she tweeted. "@CarnivalCruise is doing an EXCELLENT job!"
She tweeted again on Saturday afternoon, describing "14 hours of high winds, rain and massive waves."
"We were surrounded by lightning and the ship took a huge hit by a wave and sounded like it split in two," Tutrone tweeted.
Several passengers, including Brenda Goodwin Sherbert, posted on social media about broken glass on the ship. They also wrote about water coming in through balcony doors.
"We had a 40 foot wave hit our side of the ship,.. we almost fell out the bed.. things were crashing all around us and the carpet on my side of the bed was soaked bc water came in thru our balcony door," Goodwin Sherbert wrote.
Passenger Reid Overcash, who was on the cruise with his wife, said televisions on the ship displayed a message during the storm: "Public address announcement please standby."
He said it was when winds had reached between 70-90 mph and the ship was tilting left that he truly feared for his life.
"Myself being in emergency services and retired, I knew nobody was going to come and rescue us with winds over 40 knots," Overcash said.
The trip marked Overcash's seventh cruise. He said he's not going to let the frightening experience stop him from going on more cruises in the future.
"It's just one of them unlucky experiences that occurs once in a while," he said.
Carnival cruise ship floods after its battered in storm off Charleston
A storm off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina left passengers terrified after it caused flooding on a Carnival cruise ship, CBS reports.>>> STREAM ACTION NEWS JAX LIVE <<<Passengers aboard the Carnival Sunrise described water pouring into their rooms and hallways, shattered glass, the ship bouncing ...
A storm off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina left passengers terrified after it caused flooding on a Carnival cruise ship, CBS reports.
>>> STREAM ACTION NEWS JAX LIVE <<<
Passengers aboard the Carnival Sunrise described water pouring into their rooms and hallways, shattered glass, the ship bouncing about and a lack of communication from cruise ship staff.
Some passengers and crew members needed “minor assistance” from medical staff, a Carnival cruise spokesman told CBS News.
“Guests on board the ship were safe,” the spokesman added.
[DOWNLOAD: Free Action News Jax app for alerts as news breaks]
Carnival Sunshine, which was headed to Charleston from the Bahamas, arrived behind schedule, according to the spokesperson. The ship needed to suspend service in several of the crew cabins due to water damage, and the ship’s next voyage was also delayed. CBS News said it has since embarked.
The National Hurricane Center warned of a non-tropical area of low pressure off the Florida coast of Friday that was expected to head toward the Carolinas over the weekend. Meteorologists said that there would be gusty winds, dangerous surf and strong rip currents along portions of the U.S.’s southeastern coast through Sunday.
Read: Georgia man accused of putting victim in chokehold in pizza store parking lot
Cruise passenger Sharon Tutrone, a professor at Coastal Carolina University, tweeted Friday that the ship was rocking. She went on to say that the only time passengers heard from the captain was in the afternoon, when he told them the crew was experienced and would do everything they could to minimize discomfort.
“They said it will get worse as we get closer to the storm,” she tweeted. “@CarnivalCruise is doing an EXCELLENT job!”
She tweeted again on Saturday afternoon, describing “14 hours of high winds, rain and massive waves.”
After 14 hours of high winds, rain and massive waves. The ship took a hit from a wave that sounded like the ship split in two. The @Carnival Sunshine is finally in Charleston. @Carnival maybe you should have a pilot onboard so we didn’t have to sit and drift for 6 hours waiting.
— Sharon Tutrone (@SHARONTUTRONE) May 27, 2023
State bill allows more local investment in workforce housing
SC lawmakers passed a bill this session that allows local governments to leverage tourism related tax dollars for affordable workforce housing projects.Published: Wed May 31 2023|Updated: 5 hours agoCHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina lawmakers passed a bill this session that allows local governments to leverage tourism related tax dollars for affordable workforce housing projects.A 2% hospitality and accommodations tax already applies to when visitors pay their bills at restaurants, bars and hotels. The taxes can b...
SC lawmakers passed a bill this session that allows local governments to leverage tourism related tax dollars for affordable workforce housing projects.
Published: Wed May 31 2023|Updated: 5 hours ago
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina lawmakers passed a bill this session that allows local governments to leverage tourism related tax dollars for affordable workforce housing projects.
A 2% hospitality and accommodations tax already applies to when visitors pay their bills at restaurants, bars and hotels. The taxes can be used for a variety of things including road improvements, water and sewer infrastructure, municipal centers, water and beach access, recreation and now workforce housing.
The bill lets local leaders decide if and how they want to use up to 15% of hospitality and accommodations revenue for affordable housing. Rep. JA Moore, D-Berkeley, Charleston, says this is another tool in the toolbox of addressing the housing crisis.
“What it allows for is the municipality to come up with creative ways in which to incentivize individuals to do affordable housing - they can do public private partnerships with private entity entities use the funds to be an equity partner in a development, or they can bring in revenue to them do affordable housing, they can do it on their own,” Moore explains.
The bill will be in effect for seven years until 2030. A task force is set to track statewide use of hospitality and accommodations taxes towards workforce housing and present a comprehensive report to the 2030 legislature. Then, leaders can decide to renew, adjust or end the bill.
As a hospitality business owner, Moore says he knows his employees’ need for housing where they wors.
“This affects all of us. This affects business owners. This affects customers and guests that go into restaurants because if you don’t have people working in those restaurants… you know? That housing is a basic need that we have to address. It’s important,” Moore says.
Moore says he doesn’t think the bill is perfect or the full solution, but he is excited about the potential it creates.
“I want to emphasize this isn’t the magic bullet. This isn’t the final step. This is just one tool that we can use in order to solve this crisis. We have a housing crisis in this in this region in this in this state. And this is a one of the ways in which we can kind of mitigate this shortage,” Moore says.
State Sen. Marlon Kimpson, D-Charleston County, says he first began working on affordable housing when he entered the senate in 2014. He says his first attempts at legislation weren’t successful, but now leaders see the need.
“Now every region of the state is impacted, so the legislature, the House and the Senate, have a greater appreciation of the problem and we have found a solution using existing tax dollars to address this very narrow focus problem for all of local government,” Kimpson explains.
In the bill, workforce and affordable housing is defined as people making 30% to 100% of the medial income for the local area. The bill directs local government to use the latest figures from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development.
“The bill really targets our nurses, students, professional services, hotel workers, and the housing is not public housing per se, where there are federal subsidies. These are homes that people would purchase,” Kimpson says.
The bill was generated in the Senate with Kimpson as a sponsor. Kimpson and Moore say this is a good step in giving local governments resources from increase tourism dollars to benefit the people of their cities.
“I think it’s a win-win for the existing recipients of the fund because if we have affordable housing then people who work in the hotels who work in the tourism industry won’t be late because they live in closer proximity to the job. And it’s a win win for local government who’ve been talking about doing something with regards to affordable housing. It’s a win win for the citizens because this is not a new tax is mostly borne by people traveling here who stay in hotels, and short term rentals,” Kimpson explains.
The bill went into effect when it was signed by Gov. McMaster on May 19.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
12 questions with College of Charleston President Dr. Andrew T. Hsu
The largest impact I saw as a student on campus was your revamp of a sense of school spirit. With that being said, how did you come up with your idea for the finals week playlist?...
The largest impact I saw as a student on campus was your revamp of a sense of school spirit. With that being said, how did you come up with your idea for the finals week playlist?
Do you think this playlist tradition will continue to carry on?
As one of the oldest higher learning institutions in the country, the College of Charleston holds a special place in the heart of the Holy City. In 2019, CofC welcomed a new President, who has been revamping school spirit across campus — and the community.
Dr. Andrew T. Hsu sat down with us this past month to discuss his life in Charleston so far and the future of the College.
I was attracted by the College and its great programs, people, students, and traditions.
My first visit was probably 20 some years ago as a tourist. My family would come to Kiawah for my daughters’ spring break while living in Indiana.
The students who are curious and serious about learning. We certainly have a lot of that.
The College is doing really well with more and more students wanting to come here. I have a feeling this will only continue to increase in the next few years.
The amount of students applying has more than doubled over the last 4 years from when I joined in 2019 to this fall in 2023. Our application numbers went from 12,000 to now 26,000 applications.
We want to become a National University and we are moving in that direction by adding doctoral programs to qualify for the US News & World Report classification as a National University.
In December we got our first Doctoral Program approved, after lobbying for two years to the State to change their law to allow us to offer Doctoral Programs.
We will be offering a PhD in Mathematics and Computing. This degree will fit well with our local high tech industry in the Lowcountry.
I would still pick to work for the College and would be happy being a custodian. I would be excited to clean the Cistern Yard.
That would be walking our golden retriever Hoosier on Isle of Palms or the Battery.
We would probably end up at a La Pâtisserie or Basic Kitchen for lunch.
Entertainment-wise, walking around and people-watching is a lot of fun. The Spoleto concerts are some of our family’s favorite arts events offered in the city.
We have a lot of events open to the public through seminar series, workshops, and town hall meetings.
There are also student performances in music, theater, and dance. As well as the Halsey art museum and Mace Brown museum of Natural History.
This was also one of the most exciting seasons for the basketball team.
The campus is a part of the community being located in the middle of downtown. I think COVID-19 really showed the importance of the presence of the students. When we sent everybody home, the city noticed and missed their company.
In fact, I was talking to my college-aged daughter and asked her “of all the cities we have lived in, what is your favorite?” Her answer was Charleston.
I was watching my kids and they all have ear plugs in when they study for their exams. It made me think maybe the students at the College would like this as well. This led me to ask my daughters to put together a list of their favorite songs which I shared as a playlist to the CofC students.
Yes we are continuing — since the first one many students have volunteered to offer songs. We have worked with students to collect their favorites and that’s why it is so eclectic.