Senior Medicare Advantage plan insurance in West Ashley, 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 West Ashley or simply have questions about signing up for Medicare, our team is here to help.

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Medicare West Ashley, SC

Guiding You Through The Confusion of Medicare!

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What is Medicare?

If you're approaching the golden years of your life, it's important you understand what Medicare is if you don't already.

Medicare is a federal health insurance program reserved for people older than 65 who have worked full-time for at least ten years. The Medicare program is paid for by a combination of worker payroll tax, premiums paid by Medicare enrollees, and the U.S. government.

There are four parts of Medicare:

 Senior Medicare Advantage Plan Insurance West Ashley, SC

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 Medicare 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 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 West Ashley

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:

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:

 Senior Medicare Plans West Ashley, SC

As you begin to explore Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, keep the following important information in mind:

  • To qualify for a Medigap policy, you must first have Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
  • Payments on your Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan will be made to the private insurance company that you choose, like Senior Medicare Insurance Services. These payments are made every month and are paid in addition to the monthly payment you make for Medicare Part B.
  • If you are the holder of a Medicare Advantage Plan, it is illegal for an insurance company to sell you a senior Medicare Supplement Policy. If you plan on switching back to an Original Medicare plan, you may be able to purchase a Medigap policy.
  • If you have health problems as you age, your standardized Medigap policy is guaranteed to be renewable. So long as you pay your monthly premium, your insurance provider cannot cancel your policy.
  • Medigap policies only cover one person. If you have a spouse or family member that would like coverage, they must purchase a separate policy.
  • You may only buy a Senior Medicare Supplement Plan from an insurance agent that is licensed to sell them in your state. Senior Medicare Insurance Services has been licensed to sell Medigap policies in South Carolina for years. We have helped countless seniors get the Medicare coverage they need and continue to do so to this day.
  • In the past, Medigap policies were able to cover costs related to prescription drugs. As of January 1st, 2006, prescription drug coverage is not available on Medicare Supplement Plans. The best way to get coverage for your prescription drugs is to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, often called Part D. Contact our office today to learn more about paying premiums on Medigap and Medicare plans.

For many people, the best time to buy senior Medicare Supplement Plan Insurance in West Ashley is during the 7 months Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This period starts the day you turn 65 years old, so long as you hold Medical Insurance (Medicare Part B). Generally, during the enrollment period, you get more policy choices and better pricing. Once the enrollment period is over, you may not be able to purchase a Medigap policy. Contact Senior Medicare Insurance Services today to determine if you qualify for a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan.

Senior Medicare Advantage Plan Insurance in West Ashley, 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:

 Medicare Plans West Ashley, SC

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.

 Senior Health Insurance West Ashley, SC

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 West Ashley. 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
 Healthcare West Ashley, SC

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.

 Burial Insurance West Ashley, SC

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.
 Medicare Advantage West Ashley, SC

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 West Ashley, SC

Family-friendly events in the Charleston area from April 29 - May 5

Friday, April 29The Citadel Bulldogs will take the mound against University of North Carolina Greensboro at The Joe for a trio of college baseball games presented by the South Carolina Education Lottery. The game Friday starts at 6 p.m.; Saturday at 2 p.m., and Sunday is Kids Day at the stadium with a 1 p.m. game.Rapturous. Colossal. Legendary. These are all apt descriptions of one of the most well-know...

Friday, April 29

The Citadel Bulldogs will take the mound against University of North Carolina Greensboro at The Joe for a trio of college baseball games presented by the South Carolina Education Lottery. The game Friday starts at 6 p.m.; Saturday at 2 p.m., and Sunday is Kids Day at the stadium with a 1 p.m. game.

Rapturous. Colossal. Legendary. These are all apt descriptions of one of the most well-known pieces of music of all time: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Catch the Charleston Symphony Orchestra performing this and other masterworks live at the Gaillard Center from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Click here for tickets and information.

Saturday, April 30

Located in Marion Square, the Charleston Farmers Market is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and supports Lowcountry farmers, growers, artisans, crafters, and community groups. Bring the family to browse the local produce, plants, herbs and cut flowers and to eat breakfast and lunch from food vendors while watching live entertainment and an assortment of juried arts and crafts from local artisans. charlestonfarmersmarket.com

Enjoy an array of international food including Filipino, Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Mexican, and Brazilian at the annual Taste of Goose Creek event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will also be games for all ages, an auction, and live entertainment at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Goose Creek.

The local nonprofit We Are Family is excited to host their Charleston Queer Youth Prom, giving youth an opportunity to express themselves in a safe, inclusive environment. The event will offer LGBTQI+ members and allies the chance to experience the fun of prom where teens will be able to dance and show off their pride. Free to all local middle, high and homeschoolers, Queer Youth Prom will take place at Charleston Union Station from 6-10 p.m. and will feature a flower crown station, photo booth, and game room. Tickets are free, but must be reserved in advance. wearefamilycharleston.org/chsqueerprom

Sunday, May 1

The Charleston Parks Conservancy is celebrating 15 years of connecting people to their parks with Picnic in the Parks: A Birthday Celebration from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Rose Pavilion in Hampton Park, 30 Mary Murray Drive in downtown Charleston. Parents can enjoy libations at the Maison Real Estate station, live music from Green Levels, and brunch fare from Harvest Catering. Kids will be entertained by the Eudora Farms Petting Zoo, trampolines, inspiring crafts, face painting, fun games, tasty treats and more. All proceeds from this event raise critical funds needed to continue the mission to inspire the people of Charleston to create stunning public spaces and a strong community. Purchase tickets at charlestonparksconservancy.org.

Monday, May 2

The Charleston RiverDogs face off against the Fayetteville Woodpeckers at The Joe Riley Stadium at 7:05 p.m. Can’t make it Tuesday? The teams will be playing in town all week, through Saturday, May 7.

Tuesday, May 3

Mount Pleasant Towne Centre launches Play Dayz, an exciting morning of free family-friendly activities and fun at The Oaks, located near Barnes and Noble from 10 a.m. to noon. The program will be held the first Tuesday of every month and feature various arts and crafts stations, music classes, special treats, and games. mtpleasanttownecentre.com/events/play-dayz/

The College of Charleston Cougars are up to bat against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers at the College of Charleston Baseball Stadium at Patriots Point at 6 p.m. in Mount Pleasant.

Wednesday, May 4

The West Ashley Farmers Market will be held at Ackerman Park from 3 to 7 p.m. with local farmers and growers selling fresh seasonal produce, as well as sweet and savory foods from area vendors who source ingredients from nearby farms. A curated program of live entertainment and family-friendly activities will enhance the farmers market experience.

Visit the West Ashley library for family storytime at 10 a.m. to read stories, sing songs and learn new literacy skills together.

The City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department presents the 2022 North Charleston Arts Fest from Wednesday through Sunday. This annual event highlights regional and local artists and performers in the areas of dance, theater, music, literature, and visual art. For more than 38 years, the festival has made quality arts programming affordable and accessible to the public, attracting residents and visitors to experience a variety of performances, exhibitions, and activities in multiple venues, including libraries, community centers, schools, businesses, and parks. The schedule offers something for everyone, including concerts, theater presentations, children’s programs, dance performances and demonstrations. The Tri-County Youth Art & High School Sculpture Exhibition at North Charleston Coliseum and the National Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition at Riverfront Park are examples of exhibitions sponsored by Arts Fest that start today. All offerings are free. Visit www.NorthCharlestonArtsFest.com.

Join Awendaw Green every Wednesday for Barn Jams, an outdoor concert event featuring five different bands performing original music each week. The first band takes the stage at 6 p.m. Event entry is $10. Children under 12 are free. AwendawGreen.com/Barn-Jams

Thursday, May 5

Live Under The Oaks, the free outdoor concert series sponsored by Roper St. Francis Healthcare, will take place at Mount Pleasant Towne Centre every Thursday in April and May from 6-8 p.m. Grab take-out from your favorite Towne Centre restaurant or visit the weekly food truck. This week will feature the sounds of Lyn Avenue with food truck Zimos Gyros.

The National Day of Prayer is held every year on the first Thursday in May. This year, St. Andrew’s Church in Mount Pleasant will host a time of prayer for the East Cooper area. All are invited to attend and pray for our cities, state, and country from noon to 1 p.m.

Mex 1 Coastal Cantina will host its annual Cinco de Mayo Block Party at its West Ashley location. Doors for this fun-filled event will open at 5 p.m. and there will be live music from The Midnight City Band starting at 6:30 p.m. Guests can expect multiple bars, food tents, and local vendors at the festivities. Mex 1 is proud to partner with Warrior Surf Foundation, a nonprofit that works to provide free surf therapy, wellness coaching, yoga, and community to veterans. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

*Please note: While we make every effort to provide current links and event details, we always encourage you to confirm details with event organizers before making final plans.

Charleston retailer buys adjacent shop for $3.25M; new eatery coming to West Ashley

A downtown Charleston women’s apparel retailer recently bought an adjacent building that once housed another clothing shop and now has a satellite operation on the upper peninsula as part of its expanded footprint.An affiliate of Hampden Clothing, owned by Stacy Smallwood, purchased the former Anne’s women’s clothing shop at 312 King St. for $3.25 million in November, according to Charleston County land records.It serves as an extension to Hampden’s flag...

A downtown Charleston women’s apparel retailer recently bought an adjacent building that once housed another clothing shop and now has a satellite operation on the upper peninsula as part of its expanded footprint.

An affiliate of Hampden Clothing, owned by Stacy Smallwood, purchased the former Anne’s women’s clothing shop at 312 King St. for $3.25 million in November, according to Charleston County land records.

It serves as an extension to Hampden’s flagship store at 314 King and its counterpart shoe store James next door.

The apparel store has been growing its presence on the peninsula in recent years. It now occupies more than 10,000 square feet of retail space on middle King, including Small by Hampden at 324 King.

The retailer also recently leased the former Barrie Newman Building at 747 Meeting St., according to the commercial real estate firm NAI Charleston.

The retailer will use the 7,200-square-foot rental space as an e-commerce and distribution office to focus on the company’s growing online business. Special events, such as partnerships with brands, also are planned at the site for shoppers.

The newly leased property in the area called NoMo, for North Morrison, backs up to the planned Lowcountry Lowline linear park that will run along the peninsula’s spine. The site also is close to Interstate 26 and offers on-site, off-street parking.

“The iconic building is a perfect fit for the internationally recognized boutique,” said Sarah Shelley, of NAI Charleston, who represented Hampden Clothing LLC as the tenant.

Jack Owens, also of NAI Charleston, represented the building owner, AD Meeting LLC, which paid $2.25 million for the property in December 2020, according to land records.

What’s cooking?

A new dessert-type eatery is in the works for West Ashley.

Big Dough Daddy LLC recently leased 1,581 square feet at 3863 West Ashley Circle, off Bees Ferry Road, according to the commercial real estate firms Avison Young and Bridge Corporate Solutions.

The venture will be called Cookie Dough Bliss & Creamery and will offer cookies, cookie dough, ice cream and other treats, according to owner Jason Keyser of West Ashley.

An opening is tentatively planned for April or May. His partner, Kitty McDowell, will be the general manager. She previously worked at the creamery’s location in North Carolina.

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The Concord, N.C.-based company has 11 locations in eight states. The West Ashley site will be its first in South Carolina.

On the way

A five-building commercial complex is the newest proposal for a developing area in Cainhoy.

The planned Foundation Place at Point Hope on Clements Ferry Road north of the Publix-anchored Point Hope Commons Shopping Center will include 38,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and office space on about 4.5 acres.

Plans call for 22,000 square feet of office, retail and fast-casual restaurant space, including a coffee shop with a drive-thru, as well as a 16,000-square-foot, two-story medical office building, according to site plans.

Three buildings are slated to be 6,000 square feet each while another with the drive-thru window will be 4,000 square feet.

The developer is listed as Vulcan Property Group of Fort Mill, which is building the new 25,000-square-foot Serendipity Labs co-working structure in Nexton in Summerville. The co-working space is expected to open during the summer.

Stretching out

The Charleston franchise owner of a new Chicago-based fitness firm is planning four more locations across the Lowcountry after launching his first operation earlier this month in southern Mount Pleasant.

Franchisee John Youngblood said he plans to open Spenga fitness sites in northern Mount Pleasant, James Island, the Summerville area and West Ashley. Specific locations and opening schedules have not been determined.

Youngblood opened the initial Spenga site in a 4,000-square-foot space at 996 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. in the Publix-anchored Queensborough Shopping Center in Mount Pleasant on Jan. 8. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Jan. 18.

Spenga combines spin, strength training and yoga.

Roper St. Francis fined $104K for mishandling medical waste, which was sent to Charleston Co. landfills

Roper St. Francis Healthcare was fined $104,000 by the state for repeatedly mishandling medical waste sent to Charleston County landfills, according to ordersRoper entered into two consent orders with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control where it agreed to pay a total fine of $104,000 for multiple violations of the state’s infectious waste laws.The hospital noted in the orders that it did not agree with the department’s version of events.The incidents involved two of the health system&rsquo...

Roper St. Francis Healthcare was fined $104,000 by the state for repeatedly mishandling medical waste sent to Charleston County landfills, according to orders

Roper entered into two consent orders with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control where it agreed to pay a total fine of $104,000 for multiple violations of the state’s infectious waste laws.

The hospital noted in the orders that it did not agree with the department’s version of events.

The incidents involved two of the health system’s hospitals, Roper Hospital in Charleston and Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital in West Ashley, spokesman Andy Lyons said.

According to the order, DHEC was contacted Aug. 27 by a manager of Carolina Waste and Recycling in North Charleston that it had received a load that appeared to contain medical waste, which it is not licensed to handle.

A department inspector found bags that were open and spilling onto the ground that appeared to contain bloody gauze, gloves, medical vials and papers from Roper. The bags were not marked as a biohazard and secured as required.

Roper sent a contractor to pick up and properly dispose of it.

Two weeks later, Carolina Waste again contacted DHEC to report it had received what appeared to be more medical waste. The medical waste was unmarked and some bags were open. Other waste was kept in containers too flimsy to prevent tearing.

Along with gauze and other waste products were gloves and tubing and surgical drapes. Roper again arranged for proper pickup and disposal.

About a month later on Oct. 5, DHEC got a call from a manager at the Charleston County landfill about a load from Roper that appeared to contain infectious waste, which it is not permitted to take. Further inspection showed bags and containers that were open or easily torn, with some not marked as biohazards.

They contained bloody syringes, gauze, medical vials, and intubation equipment along with documents from Roper.

St. Francis was fined for incidents in September and October involving medical waste, including a patient’s wristband with the hospital’s name, mixed in with other trash sent to Charleston landfills.

In November, DHEC issued Roper and St. Francis notices of violations of the state’s infectious waste disposal laws. Roper responded with a waste management plan and corrective actions that cost the hospital $114,000, according to the order. St. Francis also took corrective actions.

The health system “went above and beyond to fix it,” Lyons said. “Since the state’s last visit more than six months ago, we’ve gone to great lengths and expense to make improvements to our handling of infectious waste.”

The hospitals did immediately investigate and worked with DHEC to correct each of the violations, the state agency noted.

DHEC ordered the health system to pay civil penalties of $50,000 for Roper Hospital in Charleston and $54,000 for Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital in West Ashley, and those have been paid, Lyons said.

Last year, Medical University of South Carolina also ran afoul of DHEC after some of its medical waste was found in the Charleston County landfill.

MUSC said at the time it was working with DHEC to correct it and reviewing its waste-management practices. That investigation is still ongoing, a DHEC spokeswoman said.

Editor’s note: this article has been updated to correct the total amount Roper St. Francis Healthcare was fined by the state.

Charleston Balloon Company Paves the Way for Balloons in the Event Industry

Did you know that the largest balloon retailer in North America lives right here at home in West Ashley?As a mother of five with a plethora of experience planning and hosting events for her family and local community, Charleston Balloon Company’s Senior Designer and CEO, Jill Shortreed has been active in the event and balloon industry for nearly 25 years. She is now an industry leader and public speaker; teaching other small business owners how to take their business to the next level—just as she did. Each day, both Jill a...

Did you know that the largest balloon retailer in North America lives right here at home in West Ashley?

As a mother of five with a plethora of experience planning and hosting events for her family and local community, Charleston Balloon Company’s Senior Designer and CEO, Jill Shortreed has been active in the event and balloon industry for nearly 25 years. She is now an industry leader and public speaker; teaching other small business owners how to take their business to the next level—just as she did. Each day, both Jill and her team at Charleston Balloon Company strive to change the way that the world views and experiences balloons.

“Balloons have a place in the event industry and the best event planners that we work with do not make it an afterthought but part of the initial planning process” states Jill.

You may now be asking yourself, what is Charleston Balloon Company? Charleston Balloon Company is not a party store. You will not find cups, plates, candles, cards, or candy. What you will find is balloons, and only balloons. As the largest balloon retailer in North America, you will find a store filled with over 7,000 products, 75 different colors of latex balloons, and hundreds of new designs on display in their shop and across their social media.

Specializing in only balloons makes the Charleston Balloon team masters at crafting event decor that will elevate a birthday, bachelorette weekend, or any event into an unforgettable memory. Their Instagram-worthy decor makes them in high demand with clients booking up to a year in advance. Their balloon arches, over the top balloon arrangements, and personalized confetti balloons continue to make them the number one go to balloon delivery service.

Jill says, “If you want balloons, we make it happen. Sometimes it feels like we can defy the impossible with our balloons!”

And that’s no exaggeration.

Charleston Balloon Company truly defies what people expect from balloon arrangements. Some of their favorite events include transitioning a large, empty banquet room for a sweet 16 into an under the sea spectacle filled with bubbles & mermaid themed decor; a pool party where guests entered through a giant shark’s mouth, and ceiling filled with a stunning assortment of silver balloons for a private, corporate dinner.

“We love taking balloons to a different level from what people think balloons are,” Jill says. “My favorite thing to do is put balloons where people least expect them.”

The multiple large-scale balloon installations and event inquiries that Charleston Balloon receives every day require a team of experienced balloon artists and professionals to make it happen. And they have their process of granting clients’ wishes down to a science.

Depending on the magnitude of the requested decor, clients often come into the shop for a consultation with a vision in mind. The Charleston Balloon Company team asks a few questions to get into the client’s head to begin a collaborative design process together. Larger-scale events can even receive a digital mockup of their decor, and the Charleston Balloon team will bring that digital rendering to life to make the client’s balloon dreams come true.

While it’s rewarding to bring a vision to life with balloons and a bit of magic, the most rewarding part of Jill’s job is creating an emotional experience with balloons.

“Even if someone is having a horrible day or is ordering balloons for a sad reason, a balloon creates an emotional happiness that no other product creates,” she says. “When a child runs up to find balloons at their front door, the amount of emotion attached to that is indescribable.”

With internationally-recognized credits, multiple prestigious awards, and a portfolio full of large and small-scale projects for both private and public events; Charleston Balloon Company continues to pave the way for the balloon industry each and every day with their highly requested services.

Today, the family-based, independent, woman-owned company is thriving with hundreds of events per month and a wide variety of clients. From foil shaped numbers and latex balloons to large arrangements, installations, and much more, Charleston Balloon Company truly does it all, and does it well.

To learn more about why they “Get Invited to The Best Parties” and how you can place an order for your next event, visit their website at charlestonballooncompany.com.

Rooftops and retail reshape West Ashley

Development in West Ashley around Bees Ferry Road has been dominated by multifamily growth — a trend the city of Charleston planning director said the city wasn’t expecting when development of annexed areas began in the late 1990s.“Years ago, the assumption was that there was going to be a huge amount of retail demand,” said Christopher Morgan, planning director for Charleston. “There are a couple of new multifamily developments right near ...

Development in West Ashley around Bees Ferry Road has been dominated by multifamily growth — a trend the city of Charleston planning director said the city wasn’t expecting when development of annexed areas began in the late 1990s.

“Years ago, the assumption was that there was going to be a huge amount of retail demand,” said Christopher Morgan, planning director for Charleston. “There are a couple of new multifamily developments right near West Ashley High School on the Glen McConnell Parkway that are on properties that are zoned general business.”

Morgan said that general business in the city allows for 26 units per acre for residential, and the market has responded. Developers who might have invested time and money into office buildings 20 years ago are often choosing multifamily construction.

Early major multifamily developments included Grand Oaks Plantation, built in the late 1990s that added more than 1,400 homes with an entrance from Bees Ferry Road; Hunt Club, built in the early 2000s with approximately 500 homes also off Bees Ferry Road and Carolina Bay, an 1,800-home multifamily development five minutes from Bees Ferry Road.

Smaller multifamily developments currently in the works, according to Morgan, include 38 single-family lots at Verbena Lane and Apiary Lane at the end of U.S. Highway 17 and Bees Ferry Road. Developers recently announced 55 single-family homes off of U.S. 17 on Hughes Lane near the 17 and Bees Ferry Road intersection.

Multifamily development is occurring on both sides of U.S. Highway 17 in the area. Palisades of Charleston apartments, with several hundred units, is nearing completion near the intersection of Main Road and U.S. 17.

Support retail has followed the rooftops and includes a number of grocery stores, including Publix, Harris Teeter and Lowe’s Food stores.

With demand from multifamily developments comes with the need for improved road infrastructure. Major road widening projects are in the works to keep up with the number of cars on U.S. 17, Main Road and Bees Ferry Road thoroughfares.

In 2016, road improvement projects were identified by Charleston County to be paid for with the transportation half-cent sales tax. Considered “a project of regional significance,” per county documents, the $195 million road improvements could include a flyover at U.S. Highway 17 at Main Road and widening Main Road from Bees Ferry Road to Betsy Kerrison Parkway.

The first improvement will be for U.S. 17 and Main Road intersection improvements and Main Road improvements from Bees Ferry Road to River Road. Right of way plans for the first segment were expected to be complete at the end of 2020.

Bob Nuttall, managing principal and founder of Lee & Associates Charleston, said road improvement projects move at a considerably slower pace than private development. Nuttall, who specializes in office, retail, industrial, land and investment products, said a better solution to keep road congestion down would be to build denser multifamily developments with neighborhood retail.

“Any private development could go from zero to done in under 24 months, but any government project is going to be three times that long, if not longer,” Nuttall said. “The office, the retail, the warehouse, the multifamily — all that’s being built faster than any roads can ever keep up with, but I think that higher density is one way to help solve that problem.”

Nuttall said there’s no stopping the influx of people moving to the Lowcountry, but higher-density multifamily development, where units are built taller above a ground-floor level of retail and commercial spaces or neighborhood commercial spaces where residents can walk to without getting in their cars is a way to curb road congestion.

“There’s only two directions that you can grow in an area like Charleston — up or out. So, you either have to do the higher density stuff, like what’s happening on Morrison Drive, which I think is the right move, or build out wider,” Nuttall said. “The Glen McConnell Parkway expansion opened the opportunity for easy ingress and egress. And now it’s this kind of gangbusters. People are talking about how Bees Ferry Road already has so much traffic on it at peak times.”

Nuttall said is encouraged by the Medical University of South Carolina moving a clinic into the Citadel Mall in West Ashley and Roper St. Francis opening an Express Care in the area. He said that keeps needed services nearby, which reduces commute times.

He said West Ashley could benefit from beautifying its roads, similar to road beautification surrounding Park Circle in North Charleston.

“There really doesn’t seem to be a comprehensive plan (for West Ashley),” Nuttall said. “If there was more density, people wouldn’t have to drive so far to get places and do things. The city of Charleston really wants to grow, and I think it’s a great spot for them to embrace it.”

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