Medicare Supplement Plans in South Carolina
Just over one in five state residents choose Medicare Supplement plans in South Carolina. A Medicare Supplement plan will work with Original Medicare to help beneficiaries control the out-of-pocket expenses they may have if they are only enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. Even though you buy one of 10 standardized Medicare Supplement plans in South Carolina from a private insurance company, both federal and state regulations govern them. It will help to learn how Medigap plans works will help you pay coinsurance, copays, and deductibles.
Enrollment Statistics for Medicare Supplement Plans in South Carolina
These enrollment numbers can give you a good picture of the decisions other South Carolina Medicare recipients make:
Population with Medicare: Over 733,000
- Medicare recipients with a Medicare Supplement plan: About 230,000
- Popular Medigap plan: Plan F, with more than 143,000 Medicare Supplement plan holders
In addition, these are the most populated South Carolina counties:
- Greenville County, SC: 498,766
- Richland County, SC: 409,549
- Charleston County, SC: 396,484
- Horry County, SC: 322,342
- Spartanburg County, SC: 301,463
Rate Calculations for Medicare Supplement Plans in South Carolina
If you hope to compare premiums for a Medicare Supplement plan in South Carolina, you should understand how an insurance company calculates rates.
Attained Age Rated
By a wide margin, most insurers use attained age. This means that your current age will impact your rates, and it won’t matter how old you were when you purchased your Medicare Supplement plan.
These are two other ways that insurers may calculate rates:
Issue Age Rated
About 13 percent of state Medicare Supplement plans base their rates off of issue age. If you are just turning 65 and first enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, these may seem more expensive. However, your rates may not increase as much as a Medicare Supplement plan in South Carolina that was based on attained age.
About five percent of Medicare Supplement plans in the state are community rated. This means that the insurer uses an average age for the community.
Available Medicare Supplement Plans in South Carolina?
This state allows insurers to offer the 10 standardized Medicare Supplements that Medicare has created. You should know that every company does not have to offer each plan in each county or ZIP code. Plan F is much more popular than other choices. Plan G, N, and D ranked second, third, and forth.
F and G offer very robust coverage. You may find that Plan N gives you adequate coverage for a somewhat more modest price because it has a few restrictions and copayments. As a Medicare beneficiary, you should compare Medigap plan benefits and premiums to decide which Medicare Supplement plan in South Carolina will offer you the best value.
Medicare Supplement Plans and Prescriptions?
You should not expect either Medicare Supplement plans or Original Medicare to help you pay for regular prescriptions that you buy from a pharmacy. Just like Original Medicare, a Medicare Supplement plan will only help cover medicine in specific circumstances. Typically, these include the kinds of medicine that get administered by a healthcare professional in an inpatient or outpatient setting.
A Medicare prescription drug plan will help a beneficiary pay for typical medications purchased at a pharmacy. You should compare the way that these Part D plans cover prescriptions before your Open Enrollment Period when you first qualify for Medicare. You can also change Part D plans annually during the regular Open Enrollment for Part D plans. If you don’t have credible coverage from prescription plans, you will have to pay the entire cost of your medicine and could get penalized if you choose to enroll late.
Medicare Supplement Plans in South Carolina: Enrollment Periods
Federal laws give you a Medigap plan Initial Enrollment Period when you first enroll in both Medicare Part A and B and are at least 65 years old. At that time, you can join any Medicare Supplement plan in South Carolina without having to submit to medical underwriting. This Medigap Open Enrollment Period is the best time for most beneficiaries to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan.
If you’re one of the 22 percent of Medicare recipients in South Carolina who qualified when you were under 65 because of a disability, you can still enroll in Plan A or Plan C. The problem is that the premiums are quite high, according to the South Carolina Department of Insurance.
If you’re still under 65, you may decide that the combination of benefits and lower rates offered by an MA plan will give you a better value. Once you turn 65, you will get a chance to have an OEP to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan without having to answer medical questions.
Medicare Supplement Plans in South Carolina: Traveling or Moving
Do you hope to travel to other states or even other countries during your retirement? One of the first things you should learn is that you can buy Medicare Supplement plans in South Carolina and take your benefits with you all around the country. These plans don’t use networks, and they are generally accepted everywhere that Medicare is accepted. Some Medicare Supplement plans will even pay 80 percent of the cost of emergency care in other countries when you travel.
If you do change your permanent address, you should let your insurer know about it. Your premiums could change if you change ZIP codes. Most Medicare Supplement plans are portable. If not, you should get a Special Enrollment Period that lasts for 63 days to enroll in with another company.
South Carolina Medicare Resources
These helpful resources may help you research your SC Medicare choices further: