Senior Medicare Advantage plan insurance in North Charleston, SC
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Helping Seniors Make Better-Informed Medicare Decisions
Trying to pick a health insurance plan can be a chore for anyone. For many people, just mentioning the word "open enrollment" sends shivers down the spine. It seems like there's always a nagging feeling that you're wasting money, choosing a plan with poor in-network care, or both. One would think that health insurance gets easier as you approach retirement age, but the truth is that picking an initial Medicare coverage plan can be daunting.
Unfortunately, the confusing process of signing up for Medicare causes many seniors to forego healthcare coverage altogether. After all, Medicare enrollment can involve several federal agencies, including the Social Security Administration (or SSA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (or CMS).
At Senior Medicare Insurance Services, our passion is guiding seniors through the confusion of Medicare. That way, they can enjoy retirement with peace of mind knowing they are protected and ready for life after 65. We work with dozens of insurance companies, giving our clients the chance to choose a plan that best fits their lifestyle.
We choose to design our senior insurance plans with a focus on optimal benefits structure, lower costs, and personalized service. Some independent insurance agencies see their aging customers as nothing more than a financial transaction waiting to happen. In contrast, we treat each of our clients with respect and dignity as we help them navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. Combined with individualized service, we help older Americans make well-informed decisions about insurance. Whether you're in need of senior Medicare Supplement Plan insurance in North Charleston or simply have questions about signing up for Medicare, our team is here to help.
Guiding You Through The Confusion of Medicare!Request a Consultation
What is Medicare?
If you're approaching the golden years of your life, it's important you understand what Medicare is if you don't already.
Medicare is a federal health insurance program reserved for people older than 65 who have worked full-time for at least ten years. The Medicare program is paid for by a combination of worker payroll tax, premiums paid by Medicare enrollees, and the U.S. government.
There are four parts of Medicare:
The amount of money you pay for your health care depends on several factors, including:
At Senior Medicare Insurance Services, we offer a number of health insurance solutions for seniors. Two of our most used services include Medicare Advantage plan insurance and Medicare supplement plan insurance.
Senior Medicare Supplement Plan Insurance in North Charleston
Sometimes called Medigap, the purpose of Medicare Supplement Insurance is to help fill in "gaps" that might not be covered by Original Medicare. You can think of a Medigap policy as a supplement for your Original Medicare benefits.
Private companies like Senior Medicare Insurance Services sell this type of insurance right here in South Carolina. While Original Medicare will pay for much of the cost associated with health care services you need, it may not cover all of your expenses. Generally, Medigap policies do not cover costs stemming from eyeglasses, private-duty nurses, dental care, hearing aids, or long-term care.
Depending on the Medicare Supplement Plan that you choose, it may cover out-of-the-country medical services when you travel abroad. Assuming you have Original Medicare coverage, your policy will cover its share of Medicare-approved health care costs. Once your Original Medicare coverage reaches its limit, your Medigap policy will pay its share of the fees.
Our Medigap policies are drafted to meet your specific needs, and can help cover remaining health care costs such as:
Important Information About Senior Supplement Plan Insurance
To dispel some confusion, you should know that a Medigap policy is not the same as a Medicare Advantage Plan. The latter helps you receive Medicare benefits, while the former supplements the benefits you obtain through your Original Medicare plan. As you begin to explore Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, keep the following important information in mind:
As you begin to explore Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, keep the following important information in mind:
- To qualify for a Medigap policy, you must first have Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
- Payments on your Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan will be made to the private insurance company that you choose, like Senior Medicare Insurance Services. These payments are made every month and are paid in addition to the monthly payment you make for Medicare Part B.
- If you are the holder of a Medicare Advantage Plan, it is illegal for an insurance company to sell you a senior Medicare Supplement Policy. If you plan on switching back to an Original Medicare plan, you may be able to purchase a Medigap policy.
- If you have health problems as you age, your standardized Medigap policy is guaranteed to be renewable. So long as you pay your monthly premium, your insurance provider cannot cancel your policy.
- Medigap policies only cover one person. If you have a spouse or family member that would like coverage, they must purchase a separate policy.
- You may only buy a Senior Medicare Supplement Plan from an insurance agent that is licensed to sell them in your state. Senior Medicare Insurance Services has been licensed to sell Medigap policies in South Carolina for years. We have helped countless seniors get the Medicare coverage they need and continue to do so to this day.
- In the past, Medigap policies were able to cover costs related to prescription drugs. As of January 1st, 2006, prescription drug coverage is not available on Medicare Supplement Plans. The best way to get coverage for your prescription drugs is to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, often called Part D. Contact our office today to learn more about paying premiums on Medigap and Medicare plans.
Senior Medicare Advantage Plan Insurance in North Charleston, SC
A Medicare Advantage Plan is a kind of Medicare health coverage designed to provide seniors with all their Part A and Part B Medicare benefits. Many Medicare Advantage Plans will often include coverage of the following:
In addition, most Medicare Advantage Plans give seniors coverage for their prescription drug needs. When you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan through Senior Medicare Insurance Services, your Medicare benefits are covered through your plan and will not be paid for by traditional Medicare.
How Medicare Advantage Plans Work
Sometimes called "MA Plans" or "Part C," Medicare Advantage Plans are considered an "all in one" solution to Original Medicare. Senior Medicare Advantage Plans are only offered by private companies that are approved, like Senior Medicare Insurance Services. Seniors who enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan are still on Medicare. However, these individuals enjoy bundled plans that give seniors the benefits of hospital insurance (Medicare Part A), medical insurance (Medicare Part B), and sometimes drug coverage (Part D).
Medicare Advantage Plans are very popular because they cover all Medicare services and make life a little easier for seniors who have trouble understanding the nuances of Medicare.
When you contact Senior Medicare Insurance Services to choose your Medicare Advantage Plan, ask your agent about Medicare prescription drug coverage. Unless you already have drug coverage (Part D), you should seriously consider Part D coverage to help reduce costs associated with prescription drugs. You may also want to consider a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan to help fill gaps in coverage that Original Medicare will not cover.
Medicare Advantage Plan Insurance Rules
Medicare works by paying a set amount of money to the companies that offer senior Medicare Advantage Plan insurance in North Charleston. That money is used to pay for the care services that you need. Because Medicare Advantage Plans are different, you should expect out-of-pocket costs to vary depending on the plan you choose.
Different plans have different rules for how you receive services, such as:
- If you must go to facilities, suppliers, or doctors that belong to your Advantage Plan for non-urgent and non-emergency care.
- Whether you must get a referral to see a specialized doctor
Companies that offer Medicare Advantage Plans must follow strict rules, which are set by Medicare and can change every year.
Paying for Your Senior Medicare Advantage Plan Insurance
How much you pay for your Medicare Advantage Plan varies and depends on a few different factors. In most cases, if you need a kind of medical service, you will need to rely on the doctors and providers in your plan's service area and network to pay the lowest amounts. In some cases, if you choose to use a service outside of your plan's network of coverage, you may have to pay out-of-pocket.
We encourage you to contact our office today to learn more about Medicare Advantage Plans, how they work, what your options are, and how often you will have to pay out-of-pocket, if at all.
The Senior Medicare Insurance Services Commitment
Since our company was founded, we have led the insurance industry by providing our clients with the most valuable, helpful insurance solutions available. We are fully committed to our current and prospective clients by:
- Choosing to focus on personalized, one-on-one service. When you work with our team, know that we will always design your health insurance plan with your best interests in mind.
- Listening to your specific needs.
- Responding to all inquiries and questions promptly and with a friendly attitude.
- Providing you with the best customer service in the senior health insurance industry, whether you have questions or are ready to move forward with a Medicare plan.
Our mission is to help give seniors the best Medicare assistance available so that they may understand the Medicare process and make an informed health coverage decision. We have the knowledge, skills, and experience to assist anyone interested in Medicare. Our personal goal is to become a lifetime resource for our clients and give them greater confidence in choosing their insurance plans.
Latest News in North Charleston, SC
Firefly Distillery set to host food truck festival, barbecue sauce competition
Pop-Up Picks is a recurring series in The Post and Courier’s Food Section that previews an upcoming pop-up breakfast, lunch or dinner and the chefs behind it.In addition to offering a wide range of craft spirits, Firefly Distillery has become a go-to venue for conc...
In addition to offering a wide range of craft spirits, Firefly Distillery has become a go-to venue for concerts and events since its 2020 opening.
In September, the distillery will welcome food trucks and barbecue sauce makers to the sprawling North Charleston space (4201 Spruill Ave.) for two separate events.
More than 20 food trucks, including Roti Rolls, James Brown’s Famous Boiled Peanuts and Foxes Fried, will set up at the distillery from noon-5 p.m. Sept. 10. The free event, organized by the Lowcountry Food Truck Festival, returns for a third time following a successful 15-truck event in February.
Two weeks later, the inaugural Getting Saucy BBQ Sauce Competition will roll into the North Charleston distillery from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 24.
Brandon Close of Chipper Dog BBQ and Bernard Johnson of charity The Arc of the Low Country are the organizers behind the event.
The group says the charity “promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.”
Competitors will compete in five sauce categories: Mild red, hot red, mustard, vinegar and specialty. Top sauce makers will be crowned in each category, with one overall winner earning the moniker of “South Carolina BBQ Sauce Grand Champion” by the end of the afternoon.
“Each sauce vendor we’re going to provide with pulled pork,” Close said. “It’s going to stay the same across the board and then our judges will taste it along with a fan favorite voting.”
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg and KJ Kearney of Black Food Fridays are among the judges at the event, which costs $40 per person ($45 at the gate).
While viewing the action, attendees can enjoy bites from local food trucks, compete in a cornhole competition, and listen to live music from Lauren Hall and other entertainers.
Change in SC law allows nonprofit to provide more kids with free glasses, eyecare
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - So many people know the feeling of sliding on your first pair of glasses and finally being able to see a lot more clearly.A new law is designed to bring that special moment to more children across South Carolina.The legislation allows mobile optometry clinics to visit Title 1 schools, offering free screenings and eye exams and fitting and providing students with glasses, with parental conse...
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - So many people know the feeling of sliding on your first pair of glasses and finally being able to see a lot more clearly.
A new law is designed to bring that special moment to more children across South Carolina.
The legislation allows mobile optometry clinics to visit Title 1 schools, offering free screenings and eye exams and fitting and providing students with glasses, with parental consent.
“This will see that our children across the state — and I hope this spreads like wildfire — that they all are able to reach their full potential,” Gov. Henry McMaster said.
McMaster officially signed the new law earlier this year, but he commemorated it Wednesday at North Charleston Elementary School, where he was joined by other elected officials, Charleston County School District leaders and students, and representatives from the national nonprofit Vision to Learn.
The organization lobbied South Carolina’s legislature for the change in law, as its previous language had prohibited Vision to Learn from operating free mobile optometry clinics in South Carolina as it does in other states.
The General Assembly allowed Vision to Learn to operate on a trial basis over the last year before approving the permanent change in law. In that year, the nonprofit reports it provided more than 2,000 students from 17 schools in the Charleston County School District with eye exams, and 1,700 of those kids received free eyeglasses.
“Our program has found that the best way to solve this problem is by bringing access to students right here on campus,” Vision to Learn National Director Damian Carroll said.
District Director of Nursing Ellen Nitz said the new law removes barriers that may be keeping kids from reaching their full potential in the classroom.
“Many of our families will face either financial burdens, transportation issues, parents having to leave work to get to appointments, and then just not even realizing that you need glasses,” Nitz said.
During Wednesday’s event, four CCSD elementary school students received their first pair of glasses, including second grader Taila Sanders, who had selected frames in her favorite color, pink.
“Everything is like so different. It’s like not blurry anymore,” Sanders said.
With the change in law now in effect, Vision to Learn said its next goal is to bring this clinic to more districts across the state and help more South Carolina kids see.
“Our young students experienced unprecedented hardships during the recent pandemic, and now going forward, having access to quality eyecare and prescription glasses will not be one more thing that they or their parents have to worry about,” Rep. William Cogswell, R – Charleston, said.
Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.
Duo Returns for Rookie Campaigns in the Lowcountry
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Washington Capitals and AHL's Hershey Bears, have agreed to terms with forward Carter Turnbull and defenseman Matt Anderson for the 2022-23 season."Carter is a hard-working, two-way center," said Head Coach Brenden Kotyk. "Carter's abilities go well beyond the stat sheet. He is the one initiating plays on either side of the ice. He does a lot of excellent things that aren't seen by the normal eye."Turnbull, 24, gets set to...
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Washington Capitals and AHL's Hershey Bears, have agreed to terms with forward Carter Turnbull and defenseman Matt Anderson for the 2022-23 season.
"Carter is a hard-working, two-way center," said Head Coach Brenden Kotyk. "Carter's abilities go well beyond the stat sheet. He is the one initiating plays on either side of the ice. He does a lot of excellent things that aren't seen by the normal eye."
Turnbull, 24, gets set to embark on his rookie campaign after signing an amateur tryout contract with the Stingrays at the end of last season. In the final 11 games of the 2021-22 season, the centerman scored two goals and added three assists for five points including an overtime game-winning goal against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits on March 30th for his first professional point.
"A big reason for our success at the end of last season was the immediate and total acceptance into the Stingrays family from the existing players and fans," said Turnbull. "Everyone was so welcoming and that made it easy to bond and form relationships quickly. The coaching staff and organization really care about their players."
The Nanaimo, BC native joins the Stingrays following a four-year collegiate career at the University of Connecticut where the centerman recorded 59 points on 34 goals and 25 assists in 122 games. Turnbull reunites with former Husky teammates Jonny Evans and Kevin O'Neil, all of whom signed in South Carolina at the conclusion of their senior seasons last spring. He served as an alternate captain his junior year before being named the team captain last season.
"Having Kevin and Jonny with me during our transition from college to pro made it a lot easier. Jonny and I have been playing together for eight years now. I am extremely grateful for those two."
Anderson, the 23-year-old defenseman who hails from Shakopee, MN, initially signed with the Stingrays on April 5th and completed the 2021-22 campaign with one goal and one assist for two points in five games. Anderson's first goal on April 9th kickstarted the Stingrays in a 6-3 victory over the rival Florida Everblades.
"Matt is an incredible skater," said Kotyk. "He can close the gap on guys and stop a rush in its tracks. Matt has the ability to skate himself out of trouble, and he makes a solid first pass out of the defensive zone."
The 6-foot, 195-pound blueliner enters his rookie season following a five-year career at the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he scored three goals and added 25 assists for 28 points in 181 collegiate games. Anderson was part of back-to-back NCAA Championship teams while with the Bulldogs during his freshman and sophomore years.
"The coaching staff in South Carolina is phenomenal," said Anderson. "They know each of our games inside and out, and how they can make sure to get the most out of all of us."
The Stingrays open the home portion of their 2022-23 campaign on October 22 at the North Charleston Coliseum against the Norfolk Admirals at 6:05 p.m.
Season ticket plans are on sale now! For more information or to purchase, contact the Stingrays by phone at 843-744-2248.
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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
North Charleston neighborhood split by I-26 could be reconnected with affordable housing
NORTH CHARLESTON — One day, a 7-year-old Michael Nesbitt walked into an appliance store at the Pinehaven Shopping Center with his parents.This was in the early 1960s, an era when the civil rights movement was sweeping through the country. Cities everywhere, including Charleston and its surrounding communities, were slowly integrating public spaces.Nesbitt’s father, Johnny, had wanted to make a purchase at the store, which sold household items like washing machines, dryers and refrigerators. But he couldn’t. A ...
NORTH CHARLESTON — One day, a 7-year-old Michael Nesbitt walked into an appliance store at the Pinehaven Shopping Center with his parents.
This was in the early 1960s, an era when the civil rights movement was sweeping through the country. Cities everywhere, including Charleston and its surrounding communities, were slowly integrating public spaces.
Nesbitt’s father, Johnny, had wanted to make a purchase at the store, which sold household items like washing machines, dryers and refrigerators. But he couldn’t. A White male store worker told Johnny Nesbitt — a truck driver for 45 years who never missed a day, his son said — that he couldn’t buy the item because the father didn’t have any credit.
The Nesbitt family left the store empty-handed.
A few years later, that incident lingered in the back of the child’s mind when Nesbitt, then 9, watched construction crews clearing homes in Union Heights to make way for the incoming Interstate 26. The highway — the portion from Columbia to Charleston was completed in 1969 — was constructed during a time when “urban renewal” road projects were built throughout Black communities, causing economic and physical damage.
The interstate’s Exit 218 at Spruill Avenue split Union Heights in half. The neighborhood, founded shortly after the Civil War by freed slaves who settled on an abandoned plantation, lost businesses, homes and houses of worship. Furthermore, the project disrupted the community’s cohesiveness and vibrancy.
“I thought to myself, ‘Here they go again — White folks are taking stuff from us,’” said Nesbitt, now 64, recalling how the highway project displaced his aunt’s sweet shop and his family’s church, Francis Brown United Methodist. “We just felt like we were being infringed upon.”
Today, decades later, there is a chance at stitching Union Heights back together while also making good use of the now-vacant Exit 218 property by creating affordable housing on the site. And government officials have a chance to, in a way, right a past wrong. But the effort will have its challenges — mainly in keeping the new houses affordable in the community that has seen property values rapidly rise.
Coming up with a plan
The S.C. Department of Transportation is in the process of transferring to the city ownership of the former site of the interstate exit, now an empty stretch of land between Joppa and Irving avenues.
The ramp was removed during construction of the Port Access Road that leads to the new Leatherman Terminal. A quitclaim deed has been submitted to the Charleston County Register of Deeds office, according to DOT. The transfer of the property was an environmental commitment noted in the community mitigation plan for the port project.
The former highway ramp is now open land with overgrown vegetation. Houses on the north and south sides of the neighborhood — once divided by infrastructure — are now visible to each other. The idea is to fill the empty strip with new homes and mend the once divided neighborhood.
The North Charleston-based Coastal Community Foundation has taken the lead on drafting a preliminary plan for the site. For the past few years, the foundation has been engaged in community conversations up and down the South Carolina coast with neighborhoods to get a sense of the most important needs.
“In those conversations, one of the key areas that came up time and again was affordable housing,” CCF program officer Kaela Hammond told dozens of people during an Aug. 23 Union Heights neighborhood meeting.
Since 2017, the foundation has partnered with Boeing to work with local organizations to help implement affordable housing in North Charleston neighborhoods. To that end, the foundation partnered with F.A. Johnson II, a developer who has been dubbed CCF’s technical adviser, to survey potential properties for new homes.
“One site that kept coming up throughout all the community conversations we had was the former Exit 218,” Hammond said.
CCF’s role in all of this is to bring together community groups — such as Habitat For Humanity, the Community First Land Trust and others — to help create a vision for the site.
“Our goal is to bring those partners together with community residents to make sure that this property is developed in a way that’s respectful of the community fabric, your history here, and that’s really driven by community input,” Hammond told residents at the meeting.
“The real big question is how do we keep this in quasi-public hands?” he said. “Certainly a private developer could come in, purchase it and do something that’s not consistent (with) what goals and objectives may be communitywide.”
The city seems to be amenable to CCF’s proposal. Councilman Michael Brown called the idea a “good plan” and said the overall goal for the Exit 218 property is to see affordable housing on the site.
Making the homes affordable
The challenge remains in how these organizations can keep newly built homes at a reasonable price.
The proposal, which is not finalized, was presented during the Aug. 23 meeting to solicit community feedback before it is presented to the city for consideration. It calls for 30 houses across the 2-acre lot. Roughly $3.6 million to $4.1 million would likely need to be raised as subsidy to build the homes at affordable levels, Johnson said.
The cheapest range proposed for the houses was $154,000 to $220,000. That’s for a single-family household making $51,000 to $73,000, which is 80 percent of the Charleston area median income, Johnson said.
Many residents said the proposed price range is not based on a realistic assessment of the incomes of the people in Union Heights. Doris Ferguson said she is concerned that those who rent houses in the neighborhood wouldn’t be able to afford to buy the new homes, if they’re ever built.
“You should base it on the income of the people here if you want to give us a chance,” Ferguson said.
Other concerns, like flooding, were also raised. The neighborhood is known to see high water levels when it rains. Residents at the meeting said they have complained about flooding for years, but nothing has been done to fix the problem. New homes will only exacerbate the issue, they said.
The North Charleston-based Community First Land Trust, a local organization formed several years ago with the goal of creating affordable housing in communities, could play a role in keeping the homes affordable.
More than 200 land trusts exist nationwide, and they are designed to help low-income homeowners build equity.
Typically, the land trust first obtains the land. It then engages a contractor to build homes on the properties. People then buy the homes at reasonable prices, but the trust keeps the land so that residents are not displaced.
The Community First trust has a partnership with Habitat for Humanity. Through their collaboration, Habitat has already built two homes in the neighborhood on lots owned by the trust. Two more homes are in the works.
The houses will sell for about $160,000, said Skip Mikell, who’s with the land trust and also serves as president of the Union Heights neighborhood association.
The Exit 218 project could be an effort to help fend off gentrification, something that has already touched the community that is increasingly seeing more White homeowners and new development on the fringes.
Like several other neighborhoods between Charleston and North Charleston in what is known as the Neck Area, Union Heights has seen property values skyrocket due to developmental pressure from areas both north and south of its boundaries.
Nesbitt said he, like other Union Heights homeowners, get calls almost daily from people seeking to buy and likely flip the property for large profits.
“The calls have become borderline harassment,” Nesbitt said.
Some in the neighborhood are excited about the prospect of getting the Exit 218 land returned to the community.
“I was excited about the fact that we could knit our community back,” said Henrietta Woodward. “Why should we not get that property back?”
How one store in North Charleston left many without furniture or refunds
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — How long would you wait for that the right new sofa or kitchen table? Some customers of a North Charleston furniture store say they’ve been waiting for two years now and claim they’re getting the runaround.ABC News 4 received multiple reports directly to our newsroom of this, and one we found was Goose Cree...
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — How long would you wait for that the right new sofa or kitchen table? Some customers of a North Charleston furniture store say they’ve been waiting for two years now and claim they’re getting the runaround.
ABC News 4 received multiple reports directly to our newsroom of this, and one we found was Goose Creek mother and daughter Brittany and Shelby Fox.
“We're gonna tell the story start to finish, and you know, just cut out the nonsense,” Brittany Fox said.
On January 15, 2021, the Foxes bought a new dresser online from Home Décor Outlets from its North Charleston location. But the process of getting the furniture to their doorstep took longer than they expected.
“They told me after the first [of February] that it would get delivered. It never came,” Shelby said. “There was one contact where they said something about there was going to be a delay with the dresser could be up to six months.”
So, the mother and daughter waited. And waited.
“I have to chase them,” Shelby said. Then waited some more.
“It was just dead silence from there,” Brittany said.
Now, almost two years later – they still have nothing. They said there was one constant throughout the process: “The runaround was consistent.”
No furniture or money received by the family. Besides the receipt they have from their purchase, the only thing they say they actually got from Home Décor Outlets: Ads.
“[They were] trying to sell me a mattress,” Shelby said. “Yeah, spamming my phone pretty much. But never offering money back.”
As the time went by and the furniture had yet to arrive, the Foxes turned positions and tried to get their money back. Only to find out: “They could not refund my debit card.”
The Foxes say the company told them they had a no-refund policy and the only possible way to get one was to fill out a form and apply, where the refund would only be granted under certain occasions. The whole concept was something that confused the Foxes.
“We never even got a product at this point. It's not even a refund, it's a cancellation,” Brittany Fox said.
So I tried to get in touch with the company. I called the executive board, the phone numbers listed at their corporate websites and the phone number for the North Charleston store location. But all the phone numbers either went straight to voicemail or to dial tone alerting the phone had been disconnected.
After more than an hour, I gave up calling, got in the car and took a trip to the North Charleston store location.
It was the same thing customers like Brittany and Shelby Fox did after having their attempts at communication fall through. But much like the Foxes, when I arrived, I realized there were going to be no answers.
The store was closed with no furniture. Instead, just the remnants of a business.
So why was this the case? I did some digging and found the company had its Better Business Bureau accreditation revoked in January of 2022 for not responding to claims like the Foxes' and others that came in to government offices.
“We had eight complaints over the course of the last six years,” said Bailey Parker, Communications Director for the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs. “I'd say the majority of them came in from 2020 to 2022.”
But even the SC Department of Consumer Affairs had a problem contacting Home Décor Outlets.
“They were not getting back to us on a number of these complaints and didn't ever respond to the initial point of contact from us.”
After some more digging, we found out in February of 2022, the company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. Furthermore, just days after the interview with the Foxes, they received a letter from Georgia’s bankruptcy court suggesting the Home Décor Outlets convert from chapter 11 to chapter 7 bankruptcy. It would mean the company would have to close all their stores and liquidate their assets.
However, the documents still give no timetable on when these claims will be resolved and if any money is guaranteed to these customers.
“Consumers are most likely not going to be the ones that get paid back. First, it's going to be the other major creditors that they probably owe debt to,” Parker said.
We also learned from the Georgia Court of Bankruptcy, the company received loans through Covid relief, which they are required to pay 20 percent back, as well as general business loans, and they have missed 15 out of 19 payments -- not a good sign for customers.
“At the end of the day, if they don't have money, they don't have anything left, they can't pay,” Parker said.
So what are these customers options at this point?
“The only options that a consumer would have is taking the business to magistrates court, which in my opinion, is not a great option,” Parker said.
The money spent on attorneys for magistrate court could be larger than the money lost in some of these claims. Parker does say waiting to see the results of the bankruptcy court might be the best option.
Meanwhile, the Foxes ended up finding a suitable replacement dresser elsewhere. But still, after going through this whole experience, they left one piece of advice for any consumers in the state.
“Don’t just check the reviews on the product, check the reviews on the business.”