Senior Medicare Advantage plan insurance in Mount Pleasant, 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.
Guiding You Through The Confusion of Medicare!Request a Consultation
What is Medicare?
If you’re approaching the golden years of your life, it’s important you understand what Medicare is if you don’t already.
Medicare is a federal health insurance program reserved for people older than 65 who have worked full-time for at least ten years. The Medicare program is paid for by a combination of worker payroll tax, premiums paid by Medicare enrollees, and the U.S. government.
There are four parts of Medicare:
The amount of money you pay for your health care depends on several factors, including:
At Senior 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 Mount Pleasant
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:
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.
Senior Medicare Advantage Plan Insurance in Mount Pleasant, 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 Mount Pleasant
Eight Americans in the third round of the 2021 United States Open
There are eight Americans left who have qualified for the third round at the 2021 United States Open. Of the eight singles players, are four men and four women.The four American men among the final 32 are the 22nd seed Reilly Opelka of St. Joseph, MI, Jenson Brooksby of Sacramento, CA, Frances Tiafoe of Hyattsville, MD, and Jack Sock of Lincoln, NE. Opelka made tennis headlines earlier this summer when he reached the finals of the National Bank Open in Toronto, before losing to Daniil Medvedev of Russia.The four American women among t...
There are eight Americans left who have qualified for the third round at the 2021 United States Open. Of the eight singles players, are four men and four women.
The four American men among the final 32 are the 22nd seed Reilly Opelka of St. Joseph, MI, Jenson Brooksby of Sacramento, CA, Frances Tiafoe of Hyattsville, MD, and Jack Sock of Lincoln, NE. Opelka made tennis headlines earlier this summer when he reached the finals of the National Bank Open in Toronto, before losing to Daniil Medvedev of Russia.The four American women among the final 32 are 2017 United States Open champion Sloane Stephens of Plantation, FL, 23rd seed Jessica Pegula of Buffalo, NY, Shelby Rogers of Mount Pleasant, SC, and the 26th seed Danielle Collins of St. Petersburg, FL.
Opelka will be facing Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia in the third round. We are not talking about the state of Georgia, but the eastern European country.
Brooksby, who is 99th in the world, has so far beaten Mikael Ymer of Swedenm in the first round and fellow American Taylor Fritz of San Diego, CA in the second round. In the third round, Brooksby will face the 21st seed, Aslan Karatsev of Russia, the 2021 Australian Open semifinalist. Karatsev won their only prior meeting in the first round of the 2021 French Open.
Tiafoe faces the fifth seed, Andrey Rublev of Russia at Arthur Ashe Stadium tonight. This will be their first head-to-head meeting.
Sock upset 31st ranked Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan in the second round, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. This is the furthest Sock has been to at a major since reaching the third round of the 2017 Australian Open. Sock next plays the Olympic champion and fourth seed, Alexander Zverev of Germany. Sock has the 2-1 advantage head to head, with his wins coming in the semifinals of Stockholm in 2016, and the ATP Finals in London in 2017.
Stephens beat fellow American Madison Keys of Rock Island, IL 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 in an intriguing rematch of the 2017 United States Open final of which Stephens was victorious. In the second round, Stephens beat 21st ranked Coco Gauff of Atlanta, 6-4, 6-2, in another fascinating U.S. Open matchup.
Pegula will be facing the 11th seed and Olympic champion Belinda Bencic of Switzerland. Bencic has a 2-0 advantage against Pegula, including a 6-3, 6-3 first round win at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021.
Rogers will be in tough for the third round as she will be facing world number one, and Wimbledon champion Ashleigh Barty of Australia. Barty is 5-0 all-time against Rogers, including two wins at the Australian Open.
Collins will face Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, the second seed. Sabalenka, the 2021 Wimbledon semifinalist, is 2-0 all-time against Collins, including a win in the first round of the 2018 United States Open. Like Sabalenka, Collins has reached the semifinals of a major, as she was in the final four of the 2019 Australian Open.
Award-winning all-day breakfast restaurant lands in Five Points
The Flying Biscuit Café is cleared to touch down in Columbia, as the award-winning restaurant known for offering breakfast all day is set to open a location in Five Points.Currently, no date has been set for the grand opening of the new Flying Biscuit Café at 936 Harden St., in the spot next to the former El Burrito resta...
The Flying Biscuit Café is cleared to touch down in Columbia, as the award-winning restaurant known for offering breakfast all day is set to open a location in Five Points.
Currently, no date has been set for the grand opening of the new Flying Biscuit Café at 936 Harden St., in the spot next to the former El Burrito restaurant. That’s about midway between the intersections with Gervais and Devine streets.
But a menu is already available, and it includes the wide range of Southern food with the twist that has made Flying Biscuit Café a success across the Southeast, leading it to be recognized by Entrepreneur and Zomato.
Breakfast favorites such as “Best I Ever Had,” “Drops of Jupiter,” and “Pancake Tacos” are all included in the menu. So are a wide array of options including the fried green tomato BLT sandwich, a variety of chicken and waffles, organic oatmeal pancakes, shrimp and grits, the “Sonny & Share” finger foods, the very berry chicken salad, and a pimiento cheese burger, among others.
“Though we’re famous for our grits and biscuits (we bake almost 5,000 biscuits per week at each location), our loyal guests throughout the Southeast come join us to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the day,” Flying Biscuit Café officials said on their website.
The Columbia franchise will be owned by Midlands residents John Robert Barth and Kevin White, according to Business Wire.
“The city of Columbia is growing drastically and is also home to the University of South Carolina,” Barth and White told Business Wire. “Although there are diners in the area, we think that people will really enjoy the variety and quality that comes with The Flying Biscuit Café.”
They will follow the blueprint set by the first Flying Biscuit Café, which opened in Atlanta in 1993.
Flying Biscuit is the first restaurant announced for the new Treadwell development in the 900 block of Harden Street, which is expected to include a variety of shops and eateries, both locally owned and regional or national brands.
While this will be the first Flying Biscuit Café in the Midlands, it is not the restaurant’s first location in South Carolina. There is an Upstate Flying Biscuit Café location in Greenville, in addition to one in Mount Pleasant in South Carolina’s Lowcountry near Charleston.
Overall, there are 27 Flying Biscuit Cafe locations, with current restaurants or others set to open soon in Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, Texas, and Alabama.
“We always kept that quintessential neighborhood spirit and focused on our Southern-inspired menu of comfort food made with fresh ingredients,” Flying Biscuit Café officials said.
Asked and Answered: Sept. 12
JOAO RIBEIRO FROM SINOP MT, BRAZIL: In answering a question from Tim Warfel in the last installment of Asked and Answered, you mentioned a Hall of Fame left guard playing next to Mike Webster. Who was he? ANSWER: The question posed by Tim Warfel referred to a time when the Steelers aligned their backfield in the I-formation and would run a play where the opposite-side guard would pull and have the running back follow the fullback around the end. The Steelers used a split-back formation when Chuck Noll was the coach, and so s...
JOAO RIBEIRO FROM SINOP MT, BRAZIL: In answering a question from Tim Warfel in the last installment of Asked and Answered, you mentioned a Hall of Fame left guard playing next to Mike Webster. Who was he? ANSWER: The question posed by Tim Warfel referred to a time when the Steelers aligned their backfield in the I-formation and would run a play where the opposite-side guard would pull and have the running back follow the fullback around the end. The Steelers used a split-back formation when Chuck Noll was the coach, and so since Tom Warfel was talking about the I-formation, that means it had to be during Bill Cowher\'s tenure as coach. That means Mike Webster already had retired, which means the 260-pound running back I referenced was Jerome Bettis, the opposite-side guard pulling was Alan Faneca (Hall of Fame, Class of 2021), and the athletic center was Dermontti Dawson (Hall of Fame, Class of 2012).
CRAIG DAVID FROM PENARTH, UK: Assuming no more roster moves until kickoff today, how many of the current 53 players were on last year\'s roster for Week 1? ANSWER: Based on the official NFL Gamebook for the Steelers game against the New York Giants on Monday, Sept. 14, there are 32 Steelers\' players on the 2020 game day roster who are on the initial 53-man roster for 2021.
TOM VERTESSEN FROM GENK, BELGIUM: Let me start by stating that the following question is strictly hypothetical and is in no way an argument to bring back Steven Nelson. If the Eagles would decide to release Nelson and the Steelers were to re-sign him, does the dead money regarding him on our cap become available to use in contract negotiations? ANSWER: No. Once the Steelers cut Steven Nelson, his contract was terminated and any salary cap implications as a result of that move were applied immediately. Nelson had to have a new contract negotiated, signed, and approved by the NFL to join the Eagles. If the Eagles were to cut Nelson, then that contract would be terminated, and any salary cap implications of that new contract would be applied to the Eagles cap immediately. Those kinds of things don\'t carry over from one transaction to the next.
RICHARD SNYDER FROM HOBOKEN, NJ: The Steelers have retired jersey No. 70 for Ernie Stautner and No. 75 for Joe Greene. There is another group of "unofficially" retired numbers that have not been issued since the 1970s, which I believe are Nos. 12, 32, 47, 52, 58, and 59. Perhaps No. 43 should also be added to this list. Can you please confirm this unofficial list, and do you know how players find out certain numbers are unavailable? Is it common locker room knowledge or does it come from the equipment manager? ANSWER: The following jersey numbers have not been issued by the Steelers since they were worn by the players who made those numbers famous: Nos. 12, 32, 36, 43, 50, 52, 58, 63, and 86. No. 59 was issued to rookie linebacker Todd Seabaugh in 1984, and No. 47 was worn by Steve Morse in 1985, Cameron Riley in 1987, Scott Shields in 1999, and Ron Stanley in 2006. The Steelers equipment manager works in conjunction with the member of the Rooney family who happens to be at the top of the organizational chart, whether that was Art Rooney Sr., Dan Rooney, or Art Rooney II. The yay or nay on one of those jersey numbers comes from someone with the surname of Rooney, and that decision is final.
BOB ELLENBERGER FROM ELKTON, MD: A Sept. 1 transaction showed the addition of Christian Miller to the practice squad. His name has since disappeared, but no notice has been given in the list of transactions. Is he a Steelers player? ANSWER: He is not. Christian Miller agreed to terms with the Steelers on a practice squad contract, but he never showed up.
JOE WATKINS FROM MISHAWAKA, IN: There\'s not much information on the injuries of high-profile players such as Anthony McFarland Jr., Stephon Tuitt and others who have vaguely been listed as on injured reserve. Do you know if these are the six-week variety, or entire season injuries? ANSWER: All I can tell you is that since Anthony McFarland Jr. and Stephon Tuitt both were on the initial 53-man roster before being put on the injured reserve list, both of them must miss three weeks of the regular season before they could be eligible to return. I don\'t believe either player will miss the entire season.
NATHAN ANDERSON FROM SHENANDOAH VALLEY, VA: Let\'s say in Week 5 Dan Moore has been doing well on the left side at tackle, Chuks Okorafor continues to struggle on the right side, and Zach Banner is healthy and ready to play. Considering how Coach Mike Tomlin handles rookies and doesn\'t always play them even if they seem to be outplaying a veteran (Kevin Dotson vs. Matt Feiler last year), do you think we could see them move Banner in at right tackle, move Okorafor to left tackle, and bench Moore? ANSWER: Since you seem to be in the mood to create hypotheticals for the future and then ask me to guess how things might unfold based on those hypotheticals, let\'s go with this: Let\'s say in Week 5 that Moore and Okorafor are playing to a level that they are not the reasons for any of the losses the Steelers may have incurred since the start of the season. In that case, I say Moore stays at left tackle and Okorafor stays at right tackle.
DWAYNE PLOSKI FROM FRONT ROYAL, VA: Why didn\'t J.J. Watt want to join his brothers in Pittsburgh? And why choose Arizona? ANSWER: J.J. Watt doesn\'t consult me when making career/life decisions.
JIM SMYDER FROM MOUNT PLEASANT, SC: I always choke a little bit every time I see that the 53-man roster includes a long-snapper. Does every team include a long-snapper? Why not just train the team\'s centers to be long-snappers. ANSWER: Why stop there? Let\'s just train a quarterback (Sammy Baugh) or a running back (Donny Anderson) to punt, and then get a defensive lineman (Lou Groza or Lou Michaels) to kick extra points and field goals? Then every time a punt is shanked, or a short field goal attempt is missed, you can have something else to moan about.
JOE JALOWKA FROM BROAD BROOK, CT: So, based on what you\'ve seen at camp and in preseason games, should we be optimistic/excited that a fourth-round rookie (Dan Moore Jr.) is in the starting lineup for the first regular season game, or should we be nervous as hell that a rookie is protecting the blind side of the 39-year-old franchise quarterback? ANSWER: My approach would be to be thankful the Steelers were able to get an offensive tackle who has everything necessary to become a quality starter in the NFL on the fourth round so that they were able to pick the best running back in the same draft on the first round.
MICAH RIDENOUR FROM TUNNELTON, WV: Does the head coach have any say in contract negotiations, or is that fully up to the general manager and Steelers President Art Rooney II? Is management allowed to discuss specifics of contract negotiations with the head coach or is that forbidden? ANSWER: Management is not prevented by rule from discussing contract negotiations with anyone it chooses, but in the case of the Steelers, the amount and structure of contracts is approved or rejected by the man at the top of the organizational chart. In the 1970s, that was Art Rooney Sr., then it was Dan Rooney, and now it is Art Rooney II. The coach and the general manager can advise, but neither has any authority in those matters.
JOHN LONGO BY MENDHAM, NJ: The one question I did not see is what is the status of T.J. Watt\'s contract? By the time of the next installment of Asked and Answered that question will already be answered one way or the other. ANSWER: See, isn\'t it better to have the definitive, correct answer than to ask for a guess?
PATRICK BRIGHT FROM WEXFORD, PA: Can you please tell us again how T.J. Watt isn\'t holding out? ANSWER: Sure. Turn your television on at 1 p.m. and tune it to CBS. Then you tell me.
Nurse shortage impacting Lowcountry hospitals
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - As the nation continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a shortage of one of the most vital roles: nurses.This week, the American Nursing Association called on the Department of Health and Human Services to declare nurse staffing shortages a national crisis.Happy Everett, the chief nursing officer at the Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital, said she agrees that the situation is very much a crisis, and said it is happening at Roper too.But according to Everett, Roper St. Francis ha...
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - As the nation continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a shortage of one of the most vital roles: nurses.
This week, the American Nursing Association called on the Department of Health and Human Services to declare nurse staffing shortages a national crisis.
Happy Everett, the chief nursing officer at the Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital, said she agrees that the situation is very much a crisis, and said it is happening at Roper too.
But according to Everett, Roper St. Francis has been experiencing a shortage since before the pandemic.
“Nurses have a lot of choices these days, as well. Now they go into IT professions or get advanced degrees. Or go to clinics,” Everett explained.
Everett said COVID-19 has brought on even more challenges for nurses.
“It’s put a strain on the resources. We’ve been doing this for 18-24 months now. So, we have dealt with nurses that may have been close to retirement that have decided to retire. Or, just like with all healthcare professions, just dealing with burnout,” Everett said.
She said there is also the fact that nurses are getting infected with COVID-19.
According to a study by the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in May, South Carolina had the fourth most severe nursing shortage in the country. The study projects over 1.2 million new registered nurses nationwide will be needed by 2030 to address the current shortage.
Everett says Roper St. Francis is staying on top of the situation. She says they have over 80 travelers in the system with more on the way.
“We’re also looking long term,” Everett said. “How do we build relationships with the universities and the nursing schools in the area? To make sure we are capturing those new grads and keeping them in the profession.”
There is hope, however.
Charleston Southern University officials said they currently have 250 pre-nursing students this year. That’s a huge jump from their usual 120-150.
Jess Wellington is a senior nursing student at CSU. She said taking on a healthcare position is more important than ever.
“I think that seeing a global pandemic really called a lot of people who maybe were considering it but were afraid to step up,” Wellington said. “Like the way that 9-11, you saw a lot more firefighters, a lot more paramedics, a lot more nurses. It’s the same thing. When you see a crisis, you’re inclined to help that’s human nature.”
Officials at Roper encourage members of the community to get vaccinated and wear a mask.
Copyright 2021 WCSC. All rights reserved.
Editorial: Phillips is saved for now, but more development pressure will surely come
THE EDITORIAL STAFF
For those living in the Phillips community — and those allied with efforts to preserve the late 19th century settlement community — last week was a very good week. They have every reason to be in a celebratory mood after Charleston County Council not only agreed to establish a new, protected historic district there but also approved a scaled-back S.C. Highway 41 improvement plan that won’t widen the highway through Phillips from two to five lanes.Phillips is the first district created under the county’s welcome...
For those living in the Phillips community — and those allied with efforts to preserve the late 19th century settlement community — last week was a very good week. They have every reason to be in a celebratory mood after Charleston County Council not only agreed to establish a new, protected historic district there but also approved a scaled-back S.C. Highway 41 improvement plan that won’t widen the highway through Phillips from two to five lanes.
Phillips is the first district created under the county’s welcome new preservation ordinance, and its existence will ensure that any new development gets a higher level of scrutiny, particularly as far as its potential impact on Phillips’ historic character. Those safeguards are critical to preserving Phillips’ uniqueness with growth pressures increasing and booming Mount Pleasant at its doorstep.
“We don’t want to tell other people what to do with their property, but if you come to our community you should conform to us,” long-time Phillips community leader Richard Habersham said.
The Phillips community covered about 515 acres when first laid out, and the bulk of it, about 440 acres, is in the new district. (The missing 75 acres were never sold to black farmers.) Even with new county protections, however, the preservation of Phillips will take continued vigilance. For instance, Mount Pleasant Town Council has been asked to annex 19 of the 440 acres, and it’s expected to take a final vote soon. Council members should vote no, even if they plan to keep similar zoning protections.
It’s encouraging that Mayor Will Haynie said he opposes the annexation. “Frankly, providing services to something like that is a money-loser for someone like us,” he said. “Having piecemeal annexations like that isn’t our desire either.” The annexations were sought by those involved in a deal to sell and redevelop the 19 acres. While 19 acres might seem insignificant, every bit of land is important, says Brittany Lavelle Tulla, who is working on nominating the community as a National Register Historic District.
“They will only list a district if it is intact,” she tells us, “and unfortunately, the loss of any farming lots will jeopardize the historic integrity of Phillips. So far, modern development has already happened on about 10% of the lots, and even that makes it a little tight. ... We are nominating Phillips for its landscape, not its architecture, so it will be up to the state on how they want to view the current buildings on the lots. The more rural and less dense Phillips stays, however, the better.”
So Phillips’ residents and property owners will have an important role to play in the future as land prices and development pressures continue to increase. We hope they resist cashing out in a way that erodes the community’s feel.
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“The question is going to be as time goes on and there are generational changes,” Mr. Haynie said, will there be “people in those communities who would say things like, ‘Would you give me commercial on Highway 41 if I annexed into the town?’ We don’t know.”
“We want to preserve settlement communities as we know them, (but) as we get 15, 20 years down the road, are the dynamics going to be different coming from the settlement communities? … I don’t know.”
The county’s new historic designation will certainly help preserve Phillips’ unique land pattern, which includes narrow rectangular lots so neighboring properties are close to one another but also still have plenty of room to farm.
If the community is added to the National Register of Historic Places, that will provide extra protection and review for future projects, such as highway widenings, that involve federal dollars.
Cashion Drolet of Historic Charleston Foundation said Phillips’ National Register nomination, if ultimately approved, would set a precedent as the state’s first — and likely the nation’s first — African American settlement community recognized “purely for preservation of its landscape design, as well as the intangible sustaining of cultural values like land ownership and settlement patterns.”
That would be yet another reason to celebrate. But for Phillips to survive in the long run, its future residents will have to feel the same as Mr. Haynie, Ms. Drolet and Mr. Habersham about the importance of keeping their unique and historic landscape intact.