Senior Medicare Advantage plan insurance in Isle of Palms, 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 Care 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 cityname or simply have questions about signing up for Medicare, our team is here to help.

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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:

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 Care 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 Care 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 Isle of Palms

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 Care Insurance Solutions 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:

Deductibles

Copayments

Coinsurance

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 Care 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 will 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 agency that is licensed to sell them in your state. Senior Care Insurance Solutions 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 cityname is during the six-month 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 Care Insurance Solutions today to determine if you qualify for a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan.

Senior Medicare Advantage Plan Insurance in Isle of Palms, 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 Care 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 Care 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 Care Insurance Solutions 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 cityname. 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 Care 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 Isle of Palms

Turning the Heat on Clean with Castle Keepers House Cleaning of Charleston, SC

North Charleston, SC: Castle Keepers House Cleaning of Charleston has been at the forefront of providing quality maid services for years and is not relenting in its pursuit. Their featured services include standard house cleaning, deep cleaning, green cleaning, corporate cleaning, apartment cleaning, and move-in move-out cleaning. As one of the leading cleaning service providers in North Charleston and the area, this company has been grante...

North Charleston, SC: Castle Keepers House Cleaning of Charleston has been at the forefront of providing quality maid services for years and is not relenting in its pursuit. Their featured services include standard house cleaning, deep cleaning, green cleaning, corporate cleaning, apartment cleaning, and move-in move-out cleaning. As one of the leading cleaning service providers in North Charleston and the area, this company has been granted the Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) certification and its corresponding Green Building designation.

For 25 years, Castle Keepers House Cleaning of Charleston has distinguished itself for providing personalized and customized services, which means clients get to choose the cleaning service they need. Their cleaners also specialize in delivering recurring cleaning services to homes and businesses throughout Greater Charleston, SC. A conducive working environment has been set up for staff to find opportunities to grow and excel in the industry.

At Castle Keepers House Cleaning of Charleston, the staff does the cleaning while the client relaxes. The company only hires experienced, qualified, and trusted cleaning professionals who’ve undergone stringent background checks, drug screening, and vetting. Their comprehensive, top-to-bottom home cleaning service aims to deliver excellent services at all times. A lot of their success stems from steady referrals from hordes of satisfied customers.

Castle Keepers House Cleaning of Charleston takes pride in providing professional cleaning services using better trained technicians and efficient cleaning products. Customers served by the company are pleased by the fantastic job, helpful and accommodating cleaners, responsive management team, and excellent customer service. Booking a house cleaning service in Charleston is easy because Castle Keepers House Cleaning of Charleston believes in delivering convenience. They have created an easy online booking system where homeowners can schedule quick house cleaning and enjoy unmatched experiences.

The cleaners working at Castle Keepers House Cleaning of Charleston are fully trained on green cleaning practices that promote non-toxic cleaning. These products are safe for children, families, and pets and only leave tiny carbon footprints. Castle Keeper’s leading house cleaning service is currently recruiting new staff members to strengthen service delivery. Prospects are asked to visit their webpage and apply to join an excellent work atmosphere with attractive staff incentives and the opportunity to excel.

Castle Keepers House Cleaning of Charleston offices are based at 2030 Harley Street, North Charleston, South Carolina, 29406. Their phone number is (843) 569 4400. The company is constantly looking for client’s feedback as a way to improve service delivery. Here are some of the extended areas they serve: North Charleston, Daniel Island, Folly Beach, Isle of Palms, Kiawah Island, Mount Pleasant, West Ashley, Seabrook Island, Sullivan’s Island, and Summerville.

Media Contact

Company Name Castle Keepers House Cleaning of Charleston Phone (843) 569-4400 Address 2030 Harley St City North Charleston State SC Country United States Website https://castle-keepers.com/charleston-house-cleaning/

COMTEX_392489648/2759/2021-08-31T09:04:40

Pinegrove Share New Single, \"Orange\"

Indie-rock group Pinegrove have released their first bit of music since their Amperland, NY film and soundtrack, the climate crisis-inspired “Orange.” Earlier this week, the band shared a video for the acoustic version of the song, with Wednesday’s release serving as a fleshed-out, full-band rendition of the track.A slow, thoughtful song built from strummed guitars and vocalist Evan Stephens Hall’s bleak lyrics (&...

Indie-rock group Pinegrove have released their first bit of music since their Amperland, NY film and soundtrack, the climate crisis-inspired “Orange.” Earlier this week, the band shared a video for the acoustic version of the song, with Wednesday’s release serving as a fleshed-out, full-band rendition of the track.

A slow, thoughtful song built from strummed guitars and vocalist Evan Stephens Hall’s bleak lyrics (“The sky is orange / and you and I know why”), the track paints a grim portrait of our current global predicament. Hall provided the following comment on the track:

“Orange,” a waltz about the climate crisis, was written on the day in 2020 that the photos of Oregon’s eerie, bloodshot sky circulated the internet. The song tries to balance outrage at those preventing progress—politicians elected in good faith to protect us who instead believe themselves celebrities—with the ethereal, almost dissociative feeling of being alive at the end of history. The mirage on offer by today’s political theater does nothing to assuage our concerns as we watch where the money actually goes: the American military, one of the single greatest global sources of fossil fuel emissions. So for all who have on one hand heard the desperate scientific prognosis, and on the other seen the already-weak promises on the campaign trail traded in for endless wars—it’s tough not to lose heart.

The band has also announced a run of fall U.S. tour dates that kicks off tomorrow (Aug. 26) at Brooklyn Steel and wraps up Oct. 20 in their hometown of Montclair, New Jersey. Check out the full list of dates below, as well as the lyric video for “Orange” and the band’s 2017 Paste Studio performance of “Paterson and Leo.”

Pinegrove Tour Dates:

August 26 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel (Twitch Live Stream) 27 – Denver, CO @ The Underground Music Showcase 29 – Lexington, KY @ Railbird Festival 31 – Rock Island, IL @ Wake Brewing Company

September 01 – Indianapolis, IN @ Hi-Fi Annex 04 – Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival 07 – Isle of Palms, SC @ The Windjammer 08 – Charlotte, NC @ Camp North End 10 – Accord, NY @ Arrowood Farms

October 10 – Portland, ME @ State Theatre 11 – South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground 13 – Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom 14 – Columbus, OH @ Athenaeum Theatre 15 – Cleveland, OH @ Agora Ballroom 16 – Millvale, PA @ Mr Smalls Theatre 18 – Saxapahaw, NC @ Haw River Ballroom 19 – Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live! 20 – Montclair, NJ @ Wellmont Theater

12 Charming Small Towns To Visit In South Carolina

I think of excellent food, shag music and dancing, low-country culture, remarkable historic sites, and fabulous trees when South Carolina comes to mind. But, it is also an exceptional state to visit small towns with fewer than 25,000 people. A visit can do wonders for your soul and curiosity and provide much-needed support and dollars to communities that really need them.The 12 charming small towns to visit in S.C. that I included on my list have a significant historical element, beautiful scenery, or noteworthy attraction in them....

I think of excellent food, shag music and dancing, low-country culture, remarkable historic sites, and fabulous trees when South Carolina comes to mind. But, it is also an exceptional state to visit small towns with fewer than 25,000 people. A visit can do wonders for your soul and curiosity and provide much-needed support and dollars to communities that really need them.

The 12 charming small towns to visit in S.C. that I included on my list have a significant historical element, beautiful scenery, or noteworthy attraction in them.

I was fully hosted by Lofts on Main (Walhalla) and the BMW Driving Experience on previous press trips.

1. Beaufort

Enjoy the beautiful water views and water activities in this charming South Carolina gem, “Queen of the South Carolina Islands.” Beaufort still has a hint of a British vibe to it, and the antebellum architecture has been used in movie sets, including Forrest Gump and The Prince of Tides.

Learn about African-American culture at the Penn Center and add another lighthouse to your “been there, seen that” category at Hunting Island State Park Lighthouse.

Fun Fact: Visit a unique museum during your time in Beaufort: The Kazoo Museum and Factory Tour.

2. McConnells

McConnells is probably best known for Historic Brattonsville, a Revolutionary War property with incredible history, scenery, and reenactments. Enter the park at the Visitor Center, and be sure to check out the nice selection of gifts. I loved Historic Brattonsville’s costumed interpreters, available around the property all year long.

Located near Rock Hill, McConnells is part of rural York County.

Pro Tip: On my visit to Historic Brattonsville, it was pouring. Wear appropriate shoes as the mud is thick and messy.

3. Gaffney

I love exploring weird or odd roadside attractions, and Gaffney has just that. Peachoid is a humongous peach that stands along I-85 at the height of 135 feet. Or, you might recognize the town and name from an episode of House of Cards.

Fun Fact: In case you were wondering what’s inside the giant peach, roughly a million gallons of water.

4. Walhalla

Book your weekend or overnight getaway at Lofts on Main and stay in a stylishly decorated luxury loft within walking distance of Walhalla’s friendly streets. Grab a clever pizza creation from Carolina Pizza Co. or a tasty coffee drink from Mountain Mocha before setting out to discover two fantastic waterfalls: Yellow Branch and Issaqueena Falls.

Yellow Branch is for a more seasoned hiker, while Issaqueena is steps from the parking lot.

They are both gorgeous. You can also walk through Stumphouse Tunnel, circa 1901, and where Clemson University did farming for its famous Clemson Bleu Cheese for a few years.

Fun Fact: Learn more about this charming area at the Oconee History Museum; no ticket is required, but donations are appreciated.

5. Fort Mill

Fort Mill, South Carolina, is another charming small town to visit. You’ll want to hit Baxter Town Center, loaded with locally-owned shops, eateries, and things to see and do. Satisfy your sweet tooth with one of the deliciously tempting cake pop or cupcake creations from Cupcrazed Cakery, located in the shopping complex.

If it’s a beer you crave, Amor Artis Brewing will quench your thirst, especially needed after sampling the hottest peppers in the world (the Carolina Reaper) at Ed’s PuckerButt Pepper Company. Caution: these are mind-blowing hot peppers so sample lightly.

Get your camera ready for the gorgeous downtown streets and Springmaid Park, complete with a picturesque water fountain.

6. Isle of Palms

Tucked away a dozen miles from Charleston is the stunning Isle of Palms, a barrier island. Isle of Palms is best known for the excellent beach area, but there are other things to see and do, too. Enjoy an arsenal of sports on the island, namely tennis and golf, and treat yourself to a relaxing massage or body treatment.

Wild Dunes Resort offers upscale accommodations with a plethora of vacation rentals and rooms, 36 holes of award-winning golf, an adults-only pool, spa, and onsite restaurant.

7. Aiken

Aiken shares the border with neighboring Georgia. It is home to thoroughbred horse racing, fox hunts, and polo events, therefore hosting the wealthy and elite at every turn. You can learn more about the horse culture at the Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum. If you are traveling with your grandchildren, note that Richardson’s Lake Waterpark is a terrific spot for both the beach and waterslides features.

Another important attraction is the Aiken Visitors Center and Train Museum, then wander to the boutique shops on Main Street. Betsy’s Round the Corner offers blue plate meals, a vast salad menu, pimento grilled cheese, and shrimp Po’boys for a palate-pleasing snack or meal. Save room for the hand-dipped ice cream concoctions, or how about a boozy milkshake?

A stay at The Willcox Hotel is the stuff that dreams are made of. It has previously been rated the number one hotel in the south by Southern Living magazine. The hotel is pet-friendly, meaning you can bring your dog…and horse; just don’t expect your horse to be welcome inside the hotel.

8. Walterboro

Having been to Myrtle Beach well over 100 times, Walterboro used to be a town we drove through en route to the beach. But this South Carolina town has many things to see and do for a day trip visit. Before going there, Walterboro Wildlife Center is a good place to start and learn about the Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary, a 600-acre swamp preserve, and ecotourism spot.

Another place you’ve got to see is the South Carolina Artisans Center, an eight-room Victorian house with 250 or so juried artists and the premier destination for low country art. Noteworthy pieces include sweetgrass baskets, raku-fired pottery (Japanese), and oyster shell knives.

Sink your teeth into some of the state’s best barbecue at Duke’s Barbecue, an all-you-can-eat buffet.

9. Georgetown

On our many visits to Myrtle Beach, we would make a road trip about an hour away to enjoy Georgetown’s beautiful waterfront and historic attractions, the halfway point between Myrtle Beach and Charleston. Be sure to come hungry and enjoy a first-rate meal on the waterfront (Big Tuna Raw Bar, for sure!) and allow some time to do some local shopping and picture taking on the cherished Harborwalk.

I strongly suggest touring the Rice Museum (behind the historic Clock Tower) and learning about South Carolina’s long history with the beloved grain. Ghost tours are another popular thing to do. Ever toured a low country plantation? Hopsewee Plantation, built 40 years before the Revolutionary War, was one of the major rice plantations. Tours run about $20, and you can pay to try a sweetgrass basket weaving class. Swamp Fox Tours has options to see Georgetown’s historic parts if you’d prefer just to sightsee.

10. Clemson

You can’t mention Clemson and not quickly turn your thoughts to its championship sports programs, but the university itself is a thing of beauty. Clemson is home to the South Carolina Botanical Garden, a free attraction with a wealth of themed gardens, historic buildings, and programming. My favorite part of the massive garden complex was the Bob Campbell Geology Museum, chock full of gemstones, rock, minerals, and all sorts of cool things to see and learn about.

Dining at the iconic Esso Club, an old gas station from 1933, for Southern favorites is a must! Feast on tiger tidbits such as buffalo chicken dip and steak fingers, or go for gourmet sliders, fresh salads, and tasty wings.

11. Pawleys Island

Pawleys Island is the most well-known of South Carolina’s Hammock Coast. It is also one of the oldest seaside towns in the country. Known for the great golf courses and the birthplace of the cotton rope hammocks manufactured here since 1889, Pawleys Island is a quaint getaway with lots of hidden gems. A visit to the Hammock Shops Village is a must (since 1938), with a gourmet kitchen store, candy shops, and coastal apparel and souvenir shops. Come hungry to BisQit, a local favorite with incredible burgers and thick, decadent milkshakes.

Pick up gourmet eats, specialty items, and grab and go things from Kudzu Bakery. For a luxury stay, the nearby Litchfield Plantation is an excellent choice.

12. Greer

Greer is outside of Greenville and Spartanburg. The town was originally a hunting ground, then a railroad town, and now is a city where you’ll find one of North America’s only two BMW plants. Greer also has the BMW Performance Driving Experience, a program where you can learn to drive defensively, sharpen your skills, and have great fun. I’ve done the courses before, and the off-road course is nerve-wracking but shows you what these amazing vehicles are capable of.

Greer has an upscale feel but still a small-town presence. Stay overnight at the lovely Candleberry Inn Bed and Breakfast, check out the Greer’s Farmers’ Market, and enjoy a meal at the Clock Restaurant, specializing in meat and three. I love that the Clock includes a dessert choice in the (3) vegetable offerings.Fun Fact: Watch for Our Lady of Vietnam, a Vietnamese Catholic Shrine to Mother Mary on SC-14.

CARTA’s free weekend beach bus to Isle of Palms often ran empty

MOUNT PLEASANT — The 2021 beach season marked the first time in nearly a decade that regular bus service to a Charleston-area barrier island was available, but officials haven’t decided if the “Beach Reach” bus will be back next year.While free to ride, the cost of operating the bus is on track to average about $100 for every round-trip passenger. And that’s assuming there will be lots of riders on Labor Day weekend, the last three days the bus will operate this summer.The beach shuttle was created...

MOUNT PLEASANT — The 2021 beach season marked the first time in nearly a decade that regular bus service to a Charleston-area barrier island was available, but officials haven’t decided if the “Beach Reach” bus will be back next year.

While free to ride, the cost of operating the bus is on track to average about $100 for every round-trip passenger. And that’s assuming there will be lots of riders on Labor Day weekend, the last three days the bus will operate this summer.

The beach shuttle was created in late 2020 during an uproar over public parking on Isle of Palms, where the city’s plan to eliminate free parking and reduce the amount of parking spots available prompted state legislation and S.C. Department of Transportation intervention to keep free parking widely available.

The hope was that offering a regular shuttle between Isle of Palms and Mount Pleasant would ease parking demands on the island, while also giving people without cars a way to reach the beach. However, when the state quashed Isle of Palms’ plan to charge for all nonresident beach parking, that eliminated a financial incentive to use the bus.

On a recent sunny Saturday at peak beach-going time, bus driver Lelia Sanders was waiting for passengers at the designated spot in Mount Pleasant, on Market Center Boulevard in the Towne Centre shopping center less than 5 miles from the beach. The bus leaves Towne Centre at 15 minutes past the hour, from 9:15 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Sanders’ bus was empty that Saturday as 10:15 approached, and it was nearly time to depart when the Route 40 bus from the Charleston peninsula arrived, with one beach-bound passenger. Less than 15 minutes that passenger was at her destination, steps from the beach, at the bus stop next to Isle of Palms County Park. There were no passengers waiting to return to Mount Pleasant.

That was a busier-than-usual trip.

Through Aug. 29, the bus operated on a total of 30 days covering Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Mondays, making nine round-trips per day. That’s 270 round-trip runs to the beach so far.

During that time there were 397 riders, according to CARTA — but a rider is someone who boards a bus, so there were fewer than 200 round-trip passengers. The three-day Labor Day Weekend will add to the final passenger count.

The cost for the summer of bus service is $24,000, split three ways between the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority, the town of Mount Pleasant and the city of Isle of Palms. If Labor Day ridership is as large as Memorial Day ridership, the cost per round-trip rider for the season will work out to about $100.

The Beach Reach bus isn’t the only free-to-ride bus in CARTA’s system, the others being three DASH routes and the Route 20, all on the Charleston peninsula. Most buses need subsidies on top of any fare revenues, but $100 for each round-trip passenger “tends toward the higher end of the scale,” said CARTA spokesman Daniel Brock.

“The Beach Reach is in its first full season, and we’re in the middle of a pandemic,” he said.

No decision has been made about the shuttle returning for the summer of 2022, Brock said.

Mount Pleasant plans to review final ridership numbers and then discuss future involvement, said Community and Government Affairs Chief Lauren Sims.

Sanders, a CARTA veteran who was the Saturday bus driver all summer, said passengers were a mix of tourists and local residents, including some who traveled from Charleston or north Mount Pleasant on the connecting Route 40 and Route 42 buses.

Most, but not all, were taking the beach bus for pleasure, she said.

“You have people working over there,” Sanders said, explaining that some riders used the bus to get to their jobs.

She said that in Towne Centre she’s had tourists walk over and inquire about the bus. The bus stop is marked, but there’s no sign saying it’s free to ride.

“It takes time, and I think if they bring it back next summer, then there will be more people,” Sanders said.

Like Sanders, Isle of Palms Administrator Desiree Fragoso hopes to see the beach shuttle continue.

“We are hopeful that CARTA will continue to support this initiative as part of a broader effort to lessen traffic congestion in the region, expand this service to other communities and continue to build on its success for many years to come,” she said.

Fragoso said the city would have liked to have seen higher ridership, but since it was the first year of operation “it seems to have been a good start” and a success. The City Council has made no decision, though, about financially supporting the bus after this year.

Going into the 2021 summer season, the plan for the Beach Reach bus changed several times. The shuttle bus service was launched for a trial run in September 2020 at the urging of Isle of Palms officials, who at the time planned to charge for all beach parking areas available to nonresidents in 2021.

When CARTA approved the shuttle bus for the 2021 beach season in February, the plan was to charge riders $4 for a round-trip ride ($2 each way), and the stop in Mount Pleasant was to be at the Department of Motor Vehicles lot on Sweetgrass Basket Parkway at the Isle of Palms connector, and on the island, the bus stop was at Ocean Boulevard at 14th Avenue.

The price and the location of both bus stops soon changed.

By May, before the service began on Memorial Day weekend, the beach shuttle became a free service after Mount Pleasant and Isle of Palms each agreed to pay a third of the cost. And the Mount Pleasant bus stop was moved to Towne Centre, where the Route 40 and 42 buses already stopped.

Soon after the shuttle started running, there were complaints that the stop at the 14th Avenue beach access had no shade and was blocks away from public bathrooms. The stop on the island was then moved to a spot adjacent to the county park.

Memorial Day weekend saw the largest ridership numbers for the season, accounting for nearly a quarter of all the passengers seen throughout the summer prior to Labor Day weekend. Memorial Day, a Monday with clear weather, was the busiest day of the season, but some Saturdays and Sundays that followed saw just two or three round-trip passengers and on June 13, a rainy Sunday, there were none at all.

While Isle of Palms officials hoped the bus would ease traffic and demands for parking — a very small change given the number of riders — public transit advocates focused on the idea that people without automobiles should have access to the beach which, in the summer of 2021, they did.

THE VEGABONDS Release New Music Today - Performing At Americanafest 2021

The Nashville-based alternative southern rock band—THE VEGABONDS are ready to get back to what they know – releasing kick ass new music and touring around the country, having logged more 400,000 miles over their ten-year history. New single, “Feels Right,” is out today with their new full-length studio album, Sinners and Saints, set for release on September 24, 2021 through Blue Élan Records. Also back out on the road pla...

The Nashville-based alternative southern rock band—THE VEGABONDS are ready to get back to what they know – releasing kick ass new music and touring around the country, having logged more 400,000 miles over their ten-year history. New single, “Feels Right,” is out today with their new full-length studio album, Sinners and Saints, set for release on September 24, 2021 through Blue Élan Records. Also back out on the road playing live, The Vegabonds will join 240 other musical acts at this year’s Americanafest 2021 taking place September 22-25 in Nashville, TN.

New single, “Feels Right,” is a special one for singer Daniel Allen as he explains, “I remember the first time I heard ‘Feels Right.’ We were on tour in Colorado. Our good buddy Brother (Ross) Beasley was with us opening shows, and was hanging around before the show and he played it for me. As soon as I heard the chorus I knew I wanted us to record the song. It quickly became a stand out track and one of my personal favorites. The music, melodies, and lyrics still hit me just as hard today as the first time I heard it in that small room in Colorado.”

Produced once more by Grammy-nominated Tom Tapley [Mastodon, Blackberry Smoke] – who did the honors on the last two Vegabonds releases – the determinedly upbeat Sinners and Saints expands the group’s southern rock pallet and jam band pedigree to explore funky, keyboard-driven blues-pop in first single, “Can’t Deal” before expanding even further with the intersection of country, soul and rock in “Heartache and a Memory” and even some Fleetwood Mac-style grooves in “Feels Right,” the latter a co-write from their close friend and songwriter and jack of all trades Ross “Brother” Beasley.

After logging more than 400,000 miles, visiting hundreds of cities, over 30 states, and 10 countries, the band is still friends first, and the music reflects the long-term relationship The Vegabonds have developed over a decade. Bassist Paul Bruens explains “The reason we’ve been around this long is because we stick it out. We’re both friends and family, and we all decided to continue making music. And if you can believe it, we actually still like each other!”

The Alabama-born, Tennessee-bred Southern rock band, The Vegabonds got their start in Alabama, after meeting while attending Auburn University in 2009 and playing the college circuit across the Southeastern United States. Their popularity quickly burgeoned to the point where they found their fans singing along word-for-word to their first hits like “Georgia Fire” and “Shaky Hands.” From Ole Miss to South Carolina, students buzzed about The Vegabonds authentic sound and their seemingly effortless ability to bring the house down. Through word of mouth, the group’s fan base rapidly grew, and the guys learned they had something distinctive with their eclectic mix of Southern Rock, Country, and earnest songwriting. Their DIY efforts delivered three full-length albums and an EP before partnering with Blue Élan Records.

THE VEGABONDS are Daniel Allen (Lead vocals/songwriter), Richard Forehand (Lead guitars/vocals), Paul Bruen (bass), Beau Cooper (keyboards/vocals/songwriter) and Bryan Harris (drums)

The Vegabonds On Tour:

9/2 - Live @ Georgia Theatre - Athens, GA 9/3 - Live @ The Windjammer - Isle of Palms, SC 9/5 - Live @ The Amp on Lake Martin - Eclectic, AL 9/9 - Live @ Dr Pepper Park - Roanoke, VA w/ Blackberry Smoke 9/10 - Live @ Candler Park Music Festival - Atlanta, GA 9/11 - Live @ Adventure X Fest - Covington, VA 9/24 - Live @ The High Watt - Nashville, TN Americanafest 10/1-3 - Live @ Untapped Beer Festival - San Diego, CA 10/20 - Live @ North Street Press Club - Farmville, VA 10/29 - Live @ Brooklyn Bowl - Nashville, TN w/ The Dirty Guv\'Nahs

More dates TBA

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