Senior Medicare Advantage plan insurance in Johns Island, 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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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 Johns Island

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 Johns Island, 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 Johns Island

Commentary: Make I-526 from Johns to James island a buses-only highway

The S.C. Department of Transportation has released detailed information about the planned Interstate 526 extension, and everybody who wants to be in the discussion should first study it. When I learned that Johns Island is expected to triple its population between 2015 and 2050, my initially favorable view of this project changed.The highway extension by itself is only a partial solution. Once built, it would trigger the widening of roads all over the area. The monetary and environmental costs of those roads appear nowhere in the othe...

The S.C. Department of Transportation has released detailed information about the planned Interstate 526 extension, and everybody who wants to be in the discussion should first study it. When I learned that Johns Island is expected to triple its population between 2015 and 2050, my initially favorable view of this project changed.

The highway extension by itself is only a partial solution. Once built, it would trigger the widening of roads all over the area. The monetary and environmental costs of those roads appear nowhere in the otherwise diligent impact study. We have arrived at a waypoint where we must question uncontrolled growth based on car traffic and become serious about public transportation.

The region has made a promising start with the Lowcountry Rapid Transit project. However, the low densities on James and Johns islands call for a different concept: multiple lines of smaller buses branching out into these islands. But how can these buses get there without being stuck in car traffic? The I-526 extension presents a one-time chance to achieve this through these steps:

• Build the I-526 extension as proposed in Alternative G with four lanes between West Ashley and Johns Island. This section of the highway is badly needed to connect Johns Island with destinations north and would reduce congestion on Main Road and Maybank Highway on James Island.

• Continue the extension to James Island and S.C. 30 as a two-lane bus road, accompanied by a bike and pedestrian path. If this section is built for car traffic, it will have a disproportionate impact on neighborhoods and the James Island County Park while bringing ever more cars into the city where parking is already scarce. As a green corridor, serving electric buses and bikers, it would be quiet and improve access to the park.

• Make future development on the islands conditional on improving bus service. Establish small park-and-ride lots where the bus lines connect to developments. As bus traffic increases, reserve two lanes on I-526 and S.C. 30 for “green” traffic.

In its study for the I-526 extension, the Department of Transportation does not mention buses or public transportation. This is the mindset of the 1970s, when road planning destroyed the urban fabric of cities and made them dependent on individual car traffic.

Perpetuated today, it is an astonishing denial of the challenges that are posed by climate change. It also constitutes social injustice toward residents on the islands who cannot drive cars because of their age or lack of monetary means.

Electric cars will not reduce congestion. Autonomous cars will increase demand and make it much worse. Future development on the islands is acceptable only if a significant amount of commuting can be served by public transportation. The I-526 extension offers a unique chance to do so.

Reinhold Roedig of Wadmalaw Island is a retired city planner from Germany who specialized in urban renewal.

Commentary: Johns Islanders are making a difference in guiding the island’s growth

On Johns Island, one often gets the impression that the 80% of the island that is still rural eventually will be built out the same way Maybank Highway has been — and that there’s nothing any of us can do to stop it.The reality is that when Johns Islanders get engaged, they can and do make a difference. As a new year begins, it’s a good time to reflect on the progress we made in 2021 to ensure a mostly rural future for the island.First, we need to understand two key land-use policies.In 1999, Charleston...

On Johns Island, one often gets the impression that the 80% of the island that is still rural eventually will be built out the same way Maybank Highway has been — and that there’s nothing any of us can do to stop it.

The reality is that when Johns Islanders get engaged, they can and do make a difference. As a new year begins, it’s a good time to reflect on the progress we made in 2021 to ensure a mostly rural future for the island.

First, we need to understand two key land-use policies.

In 1999, Charleston County defined an urban growth boundary that separated the urban/suburban portions of the county from the rural portions. About 20% of Johns Island lies inside the boundary and is designated to be urban/suburban; the remaining 80% is designated to be rural.

Then in 2006, the St. John’s Water Company and the Charleston Water System signed an agreement stating that sewer service on Johns Island would be provided only within a designated service area, which approximates the urban/suburban area within the urban growth boundary.

The area outside the growth boundary is zoned for rural densities ranging from one house per acre to one house per eight acres, which serves to block dense suburban-type developments. The lack of sewer service further blocks them.

Johns Islanders and the local conservation community have worked during the past 20 years to prevent most changes to the growth boundary, ensuring the island won’t be “built out.”

In 2021, the county proposed to increase housing densities outside the boundary that would have allowed up to 8,000 more houses on an island that had 10,217 in 2020. Johns Islanders took the lead to ensure this proposal was withdrawn. Johns Islanders made a difference.

Johns Islanders worked with the county and the conservation community on the 2021 update to the county’s zoning regulations so that wetlands are now excluded from the density calculations (thereby eliminating the potential construction of 3,000 houses). Restrictions on sand mines have been tightened to improve our quality of life, and the requirements for conservation subdivisions were revised to emphasize conservation. Johns Islanders made a difference.

Johns Islanders worked with the Charleston City Council in 2021 on a new comprehensive plan that supports elevation-based zoning that is critically needed on the island and on creating a municipal improvement district that will let us raise money to improve our transportation, parks and drainage infrastructure. Johns Islanders made a difference.

Johns Islanders were concerned about a proposed development at the mouth of Burden Creek, just north of the Johns Island airport, which could worsen flooding. Last year, islanders and the conservation community worked with the Charleston County Aviation Authority for the authority to purchase the land. All parties collaborated to place a conservation easement on the land that will eliminate the construction of 240 additional houses. Johns Islanders made a difference.

In 2020-2021, Johns Islanders worked with the county on the Main Road and Maybank Highway overlay districts. The Main Road overlay ensures that commercial development on Main Road fits into the rural character of Johns Island. The Maybank Highway overlay reinforces the concept of commercial nodes separated by residential development so Maybank Highway doesn’t become one long strip mall. It also restricts big-box stores. Johns Islanders made a difference.

Over the years, private landowners as well as city, county and federal governments have put more than 3,700 acres on Johns Island under easements. This has eliminated the construction of more than 1,200 additional houses. Private landowners could have sold to developers; instead they chose to make a difference to help ensure Johns Island stays mostly rural.

Yes, the 20% of Johns Island within the urban growth boundary eventually will be built out.

But for the rural 80% of Johns Island, it isn’t too late: We are doing something about development, and we are making a difference.

Many thanks to all Johns Islanders who value the farms, forests and people who make this mostly rural sea island such a special place. And thanks to all who continue to make a difference on Johns Island, especially the conservation community and our neighbors on Kiawah, Seabrook and Wadmalaw islands.

Our efforts can never cease, but when we stand together, we can ensure that the Johns Island we all love will be here for many future generations.

John Zlogar is a Johns Island resident and chairman of the Johns Island Task Force.

James Island congregation attempting to find ‘message in the mess’ after church fire

JAMES ISLAND — When Fort Johnson Baptist assembles for worship this Christmas, members will gather in the church’s gymnasium, not the sanctuary.That’s because a fire destroyed the church’s main worship space in September.But Fort Johnson’s parishioners understand that the spirit of Christmas isn’t limited to a specific space. The joy and love that accompanies the holiday season can be manifested wherever believers come together.After all, this wasn’t the first time Fort Johnson B...

JAMES ISLAND — When Fort Johnson Baptist assembles for worship this Christmas, members will gather in the church’s gymnasium, not the sanctuary.

That’s because a fire destroyed the church’s main worship space in September.

But Fort Johnson’s parishioners understand that the spirit of Christmas isn’t limited to a specific space. The joy and love that accompanies the holiday season can be manifested wherever believers come together.

After all, this wasn’t the first time Fort Johnson Baptist had seen devastation.

A spray-painted wooden sign was used to announce worship services days after Hurricane Hugo in 1989 toppled the church’s steeple. The sign, which had been stored above the church’s ceiling, reemerged after a portion of the overhead surface gave way during the September blaze.

“It’s a good reminder that even after disaster, good things can happen,” said Pastor Marty Middleton, 43.

During the Christmas holiday season — one of the most important times of year for the Christian community — Fort Johnson finds itself attempting to preserve a sense of hope as the congregation continues grappling with the destruction of its house of worship. At the same time, congregants are revisiting what it truly means to be a church, inspired by an outpouring of support from the community and congregations that have faced similar challenges.

A message from the mess

A preschool student was the first to smell the smoke on Sept. 9, telling his mother, “it smells like a cookout out here.” The boy’s mother, a teacher at the church’s preschool, called emergency officials around 8:30 a.m. to report a fire at the church, located at 1473 Camp Road.

Firefighters with the James Island Public Service District Fire Department and other area agencies were able to put out the blaze within an hour. Officials determined a lightning strike hit the steeple and caused the fire. The steeple fell during the blaze, taking about half of the roof with it.

The fire damage is primarily concentrated in the sanctuary. The church’s educational building, which houses the preschool, wasn’t harmed by the fire itself, though it did receive water damage from fire hoses.

Helen Needham grew up in Fort Johnson. Her family served as charter members of the congregation, established by James Island Baptist in 1960.

Fort Johnson’s sanctuary holds precious memories for their family. Needham, her sisters and her daughter all had their weddings in the church’s sanctuary. Needham’s children were baptized there. She held back tears as she recalled the day the building was engulfed in flames.

“When I saw that the church steeple was gone, I cried,” she said.

Standing in the pulpit of the sanctuary earlier this month, Middleton surveyed the rubble. Broken glass, charred wood and other debris was scattered across the floor and atop pews. The sanctuary’s ceiling caved in, leaving a gaping hole that reveals a blue sky. Mold has overtaken many of the walls. The floor was soaked with rainwater.

The destruction is a visual reminder of the messiness that exists in the world, Middleton said. The concept rings especially true this year as we all continue to navigate, with uncertainty, the pandemic.

“Sometimes, when you come to church, your life is a mess,” Middleton said. “But God is in the business of restoring that mess — taking that mess and making a message.”

The church has adjusted, relocating its preschool to a separate campus building and its worship services to the church’s gymnasium, normally used for local recreational basketball games. The pastor anticipates reconstruction will begin in a few weeks, once the church’s insurance company determines whether it will be feasible to renovate the existing sanctuary, or if the church should tear it down and build a new one.

Middleton said his task is to help his congregation stay focused on the church’s mission and to remain positive. His most recent sermon series, “Hopeful Expectation,” tells congregants to expect goodness at the end of this tragedy. This ties into the holiday season, when themes of hope and peace are prominent.

Fort Johnson’s members have been looking forward to positive, yet simple, changes that might come out of fire, such fresh carpet, new pews, and possibly a new sanctuary.

The worship services, though in a nontraditional setting, have been a source of inspiration. Attendance has been steady and a sense of hope permeates the room, Middleton said.

“God’s promises are true,” Middleton said. “So when he says he comes to bring peace and comfort, he’ll do that when we trust in him.”

The tragedy has also taught parishioners at Fort Johnson to focus more on relationships.

Since the fire, church members have come together some Wednesday nights to pray specifically for the restoration process. New relationships are being formed, too. The congregation has grown with the addition of five families who’ve joined the church in the last three months.

For the most part, Fort Johnson has sought to maintain a regular rhythm of Christmas programs and mission activities.

The church’s preschool relocated its annual Christmas pageant to the front lawn. Small children, dressed to depict angels and wise men, retold the biblical Christmas narrative and sang holiday songs. The church continued its involvement in Operation Christmas Child, an initiative where churches buy Christmas gifts for children across the world. The congregation has also bought gifts for a few local families caring for foster children.

“We haven’t let the fire stop us, “Needham said.

Continuing to serve

Fort Johnson has also seen an outpouring of support from the community.

One church donated sound equipment for the church to use during Sunday worship. Another congregation gave Fort Johnson toys and tables to use for the preschool to replace items that had been damaged by smoke. Local businesses donated food for congregants who, on the weekends, had been setting up chairs and equipment in preparation for Sunday worship.

Several other faith communities sent financial donations, including St. Andrew’s in Mount Pleasant, which donated $10,000 to Fort Johnson to express its support.

St. Andrew’s can relate to the difficulties being faced by the James Island group. The Mount Pleasant church lost its entire ministry center to a massive blaze in 2018, leaving the roughly 2,000-member congregation without a place to worship and its day school without a place to meet.

Bishop Steve Wood recalled that the days following the fire involved mostly addressing those immediate concerns. But Wood said he also tried to keep St. Andrew’s focused on its mission of service.

In doing so, he wrote a letter after the blaze that eventually became a regular form of communication, keeping members encouraged and updated on the reconstruction timeline.

“I just told them we’d be OK,” he said.

The church then engaged in ministry outside the building. St. Andrew’s “adopted” a Mount Pleasant fire station and served firefighters baked goods. Lawyers and architects in the congregation offered their skillsets to help the church with its renovation process. Members conducted prayer walks throughout the Mount Pleasant neighborhood where the church sits. Parishioners bought rosebushes for a few neighbors. Congregants began building relationships with teachers at Mount Pleasant Academy, where the church began holding Sunday services.

Wood’s advice for Fort Johnson is to, in spite of the tragedy, seek opportunities to serve others.

“The most challenging thing is that a fire, and these kinds of circumstances, can be so consuming that you miss what God is actually doing in the moment,” Wood said. “Maintain a mission focus. Keep the main thing the main thing. Be attentive to what God is doing around you. He’s mobilizing people around you.”

Reach Rickey Dennis at 937-4886. Follow him on Twitter @RCDJunior.

Wednesday headlines: Coronavirus cases break records, again

South Carolina’s COVID-19 numbers continue to climb as the state set another daily case record over the holiday weekend for the sixth time in less than three weeks.According to The State newspaper, “The state Department of Health and Environmental Control reported more than 20,000 new cases on Sunday, beating the record previously set on Friday. With the 68,597 cases added over the past four days pushed the weekly total to more than 113,300 cases, which also shattered the previous weekly record.”Meanw...

South Carolina’s COVID-19 numbers continue to climb as the state set another daily case record over the holiday weekend for the sixth time in less than three weeks.

According to The State newspaper, “The state Department of Health and Environmental Control reported more than 20,000 new cases on Sunday, beating the record previously set on Friday. With the 68,597 cases added over the past four days pushed the weekly total to more than 113,300 cases, which also shattered the previous weekly record.”

Meanwhile, new quarantine guidelines from the state Department of Health and Environmental Control allow unvaccinated S.C. teachers who were exposed to COVID-19 to not quarantine as long as they do not show symptoms and their school is in a critical staffing shortage. More: The State, Charleston City Paper, The Washington Post, The New York Times

In other headlines:

Charleston leads state in guns discovered at airport checkpoints. Airport screening agents across the U.S. found firearms in carry-on bags at record rates last year. In South Carolina, Charleston International led the state with 30 of the 72 weapons discovered. More: The Post and Courier

McMaster to give State of the State address today. Gov. Henry McMaster is expected in his State of the State address Wednesday to say South Carolina needs to be bold and seize opportunities created by billions of additional budget dollars to continue to be a great state for businesses. More: Associated Press, The State

Berkeley County Schools to allot $1.5M in federal funds for substitute teacher pay. The Berkeley County School Board voted unanimously to allot $1.5 million in federal funds to increase the pay for substitute teachers in the district. More: WCSC TV

Planned power line for Charleston sea islands hits snag. Santee Cooper is suing Charleston County’s zoning board after a ruling that could disrupt plans for a major Johns Island power line project. More: The Post and Courier

To get dozens of South Carolina news stories every business day, contact the folks at SC Clips.

SC closes on nuns’ James Island waterfront property for $23M with plans to make a park

JAMES ISLAND — The sale is complete for a piece of waterfront property between a suburban subdivision and a collection of marine labs, and there’s high hopes the state could turn the property into a centerpiece park.In June, a group of lawmakers announced they intended to bid on a 23-acre property at the end of Fort Johnson Road inhabited by the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy. The congregation of nuns dates back nearly two centuries in Charleston.The announcement was ...

JAMES ISLAND — The sale is complete for a piece of waterfront property between a suburban subdivision and a collection of marine labs, and there’s high hopes the state could turn the property into a centerpiece park.

In June, a group of lawmakers announced they intended to bid on a 23-acre property at the end of Fort Johnson Road inhabited by the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy. The congregation of nuns dates back nearly two centuries in Charleston.

The announcement was a surprise at the time.

State Sen. Chip Campsen, R-Isle of Palms, told The Post and Courier in an interview this week that lawmakers only noticed the property was for sale as the window to bid was rapidly closing, and that the state’s formal offer came after that period had ended.

The state’s offer was not the highest, but it was successful, Campsen said, in part because it came without conditions that a developer might attach — like not closing until building permits are awarded.

Property records indicate the sale closed at the end of July, and the final price was $23.25 million.

The opportunity to preserve the 23-acre waterfront parcel from development, complete with views of Fort Sumter and the rest of Charleston Harbor, was a rare one, Campsen said.

He said the sisters “felt like their legacy and their stewardship of that land would be best protected, best preserved for future generations if the state bought it.”

The property will be owned by the Department of Natural Resources, which runs the marine lab next door, and managed by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, which might one day rent out the convent building on the site.

Campsen said the 24 rooms would probably have to be expanded for future visitors.

Sam Queen, a spokeswoman for PRT, said that a public planning process for the site is expected to begin early next year.

“It definitely is a unique situation and one we’re excited about,” she said.

DNR, meanwhile, had already been doing some work near the site, cooperating with the sisters there to use oyster reefs to stabilize erosion on the waterfront, said Erin Weeks, an agency spokeswoman. Most of the parcel is forested, with a residence building and a chapel on site.

Campsen said he was excited for the planning process to incorporate the existing DNR land, and that the two parcels could be at least partially tied together into one park. It’s a historically significant area — the point at the end of Fort Johnson Road is where the first shots of the Civil War were fired on Fort Sumter.

In the meantime, nothing will change on the land any time soon. As a condition of the sale, the sisters are allowed to stay on the property through at least June 2022, with an option to extend to December 2022.

The nuns were looking to move as their members age and new women don’t join the ranks. Sister Mary Joseph Ritter confirmed that the congregation planned to relocate to the Bishop Gadsden retirement home, but the transition wouldn’t come until next year.

“We’re on the waiting list, just like everybody else,” she said.

The congregation didn’t have any further details on the move, she said, but would have more to say in the coming months about how they hope to preserve their legacy.

Twelve members remain among the Sisters of Charity, a congregation that has ministered in Charleston since 1829. Through its history, the group ran a school for free children of color in the 1840s, cared for both Union and Confederate wounded soldiers during the Civil War, and founded the hospital that would evolve into the Roper-St. Francis health care system.

The sisters moved to their current home on James Island in the 1950s.

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