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Best Medicare Advantage Plans in South Carolina for 2020

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For those who don’t want to rely completely on Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B) for their healthcare coverage, comparing the best Medicare Advantage plans in South Carolina for 2020 will be a popular and effective choice. With Medicare Advantage plans in South Carolina, you can save on many of the coinsurances, copayments, and deductibles of Original Medicare, and you can enjoy enhanced coverage and extra perks. Explore your Medicare Part C options here on our website or chat with one of our licensed insurance agents for help with picking a Medicare Advantage plan that is best for you and your specific healthcare needs.

Overview of the Best Medicare Advantage Plans in South Carolina for 2020

There are various Medicare Advantage plans in South Carolina that you can choose from, including HMO and PPO options that are similar to the health insurance coverage that you might have had in the past through your employer. With a Medicare Advantage plan, you will use your new policy instead of using your Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B coverage when you see a doctor, go to the hospital or seek care in a skilled nursing facility or nursing home.

The federal Medicare program does require that 2020 Medicare Advantage plans include certain types and levels of coverage, but insurance companies do have a lot of leeway about what they can offer. Because of this, exploring all of your options from companies with top star ratings will help you truly compare your options and choose the best Medicare Advantage plan for your needs. Soon, you can enjoy much better coverage than what is offered by Original Medicare alone.

Best Medicare Advantage Plans in South Carolina: When Can You Enroll?

Although this is not the case with Medicare Supplement plans, you must sign up for Medicare Advantage plans during certain Medicare Advantage enrollment periods. Luckily, these periods do happen fairly frequently, so signing up for the Medicare Part C plan in South Carolina that you want should be too hard, whether you have just enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B or if you have been eligible for Medicare for a while.

  • Medicare Initial Coverage Election Period ICEP: After you first sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B, you will have the option to enroll to become a beneficiary of a Medicare Advantage plan.
  • Medicare Annual Election Period AEP: During the period from October 15 to December 7 every year, you can make changes to your Medicare Advantage policy, such as by enrolling, changing or opting out and going back to Original Medicare.
  • Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period MADP: In the past, when people wanted to switch from a Medicare Advantage plan back to Medicare Part A and Part B, they were able to do it during this now-discontinued period.
  • Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period MA OEP: From January 1 to March 31, you can change your MA policy if you want to. The MA OEP is new as of 2019.
  • Medicare Special Election Periods SEP: Finding out you need to change your policy at the last minute — such as if you lose your dual-eligible status and therefore lose your Medicaid, if your insurance company doesn’t go through with its Medicare contract renewal or if you move — can be upsetting. An SEP is often triggered in these situations so that you can sign up for a plan, though.

Best Types of Medicare Advantage Plans in South Carolina for 2020

During a Medicare Enrollment Period, you can sign up for one of these types of Medicare Advantage plans. You can use this list to quickly compare the perks of each popular type of Medicare Part C plan in South Carolina so that you’ll know which one is best for you for 2020.

PPO Preferred Provider Organization Plans (PPO) in South Carolina

  • This type of Medicare Advantage plan in South Carolina does have a provider network/service area.
  • Your insurance policy will still pay for some things if you see a doctor or go to a hospital outside of your provider’s network.
  • Seeeing in-network doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers allows you to pay less for care
  • No referrals for specialists are necessary

HMO Health Maintenance Organization Plans (HMO) in South Carolina

  • These Medicare Part C policies almost always have the best rates for monthly premiums. Some even have $0 premium.
  • If it’s not an emergency situation, you’ll have to see in-network providers
  • You must have a primary care doctor (PCP) who can give you referrals when it’s time for you to see a specialist

Private Fee-for-Service PFFS in South Carolina

  • These private plans determine how much the insurer pays and how much the beneficiary pays
  • You will not have network restrictions

Special Needs Plans SNPs in South Carolina

  • People with chronic health conditions or institutional conditions, including end stage renal disease ESRD, typically find that Special Needs Plans best suit their needs
  • Medicare Part D prescription drug plans are always included

Enrollment Figures for South Carolina Medicare Advantage Plans

Learn more about Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage enrollment in your state with these stats:

  • The five largest counties in South Carolina are Greenville, Richland, Charleston, Spartanburg and Horry.
  • There were 1,051,955 Medicare beneficiaries who were enrolled in Medicare Part A and B (or just one of the two) in South Carolina in 2018.
  • 265,865 of Medicare beneficiaries in South Carolina were enrolled in Medicare Advantage in 2018.

Do Medicare Advantage Plans in South Carolina Cover Prescription Drugs?

Medicare Prescription Drug Plans are often included in Medicare Advantage plans for 2020. For more info about what is and is not covered, check out the formulary and prescription drug tiers for the Medicare Part D plan that is included with your Medicare Part C policy in South Carolina.

Network Restrictions for Medicare Advantage Plan in South Carolina?

Know these things about network restrictions for popular Medicare Advantage policies:

  • In-Network vs. Out-of-Network Within Coverage Area: HMO Medicare Advantage plans and PPO Medicare Advantage plans in South Carolina both cover out-of-network care in emergency situations. An HMO will not pay for out-of-network care in other situations, while a PPO will. If you use an out-of-network provider with a PPO, though, your out-of-pocket expenses will be higher
  • Traveling With Plan: With both health maintenance organization HMO plans or preferred provider organization PPO plans, emergency care is covered throughout the United States when you’re traveling. With a PPO, you can take advantage of out-of-network help even outside of emergency situations, although your costs will be higher.
  • Moving Across State Lines: Medicare Part A and Part B offer the same benefits in all 50 states, but Advantage policies are different. With Medicare Part C, you will need to change plans if you move.

Added Benefits of Medicare Advantage Plan in South Carolina

You may want to look for a Medicare Advantage plan in South Carolina for 2020 that includes some or all of these perks as a part of their rates, since none of these things are included with Medicare coverage. You cannot even enjoy these perks with other types of health plans, such as Medicare Supplement insurance (Medigap Medicare plans):

  • Hearing care, routine vision and dental care
  • Wellness programs
  • Silver Sneakers or other similar gym membership
  • Recommendations for diet and nutrition
  • Allowance for over-the-counter medication costs
  • Healthy living seminars and classes
  • Transportation to and from medical appointments
  • Payment of some or all of the Medicare Part B premium

These perks are sometimes included with popular policies from private insurance companies like BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, in addition to prescription drug coverage through an included Medicare prescription drug plan (which eliminates the need to purchase a stand-alone drug policy). As you can probably imagine, these perks can save you a lot in out-of-pocket costs. Read a complete description of benefits for each policy before buying to make sure you’re getting the best perks.

Here are a few changes for 2020:

  • Starting in 2020, insurance companies that provide Medicare Advantage plans in South Carolina will be able to add some supplemental non-health related benefits to certain beneficiaries, such as providing help with making structural changes to the home when needed. This is designed to help those who might need help with widening doorways or installing ramps for their homes.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved a 2.53% payment increase to Medicare insurers that offer Medicare Advantage plans in South Carolina.

Favorite Companies for Medicare Advantage Plans in South Carolina for 2019

There are various providers out there who offer Medicare Advantage plans in 2019 to seniors from all over the gorgeous, sunny state of South Carolina. We have been working hard to compile information from each of these companies. While doing so, we have found quite a few favorites. These are some of the Medicare Part C plan providers in South Carolina that we prefer:

South Carolina Medicare Resources

Check out these resources for additional information and extra help when you’re enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B or preparing to do so: