Medicare Supplement in South Carolina
This article was updated on: 11/01/2018
Medicare Supplement plans (also called Medigap plans) are a supplemental insurance you can buy to work alongside your Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. Medicare Part A covers many healthcare costs associated with inpatient care in a hospital, and Medicare Part B covers many other healthcare costs associated with doctors’ care and outpatient care. However neither Medicare Part A nor Part B pays every expense for covered services. You are responsible for these costs, sometimes called the “gaps” in Medicare coverage.
Medicare Supplement plans help pay these gaps. Here is how it works. If you have a Medicare Supplement plan in South Carolina, Medicare will first pay its share of your medical expenses. Then your Medicare Supplement plan will pay its share. This is often the remainder of your bill. However, it depends on which Medicare Supplement plan you choose from the standard offered plans.
Although Medicare Supplement plans in South Carolina (as in other states) are sold by private insurance companies, every insurer has to follow the guidelines created by Medicare when it standardized the benefits of Medicare Supplement plans. All Medicare Supplement plans must provide basic benefits, which are listed below.
- Hospital coinsurance and costs up to an additional 365 days after your Medicare Part A hospital benefits have run out.
At least a portion, if not all of the cost related to
- Medicare Part A hospice coinsurance or copayment
- Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
- The first three pints of blood received in the hospital
Beyond covering these basic benefits, Medicare Supplement plans in South Carolina may provide other benefits. Each standardized plan is identified by a letter. There is Medicare Supplement Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N. Each one of these lettered policies provides the same set of basic benefits from insurer to insurer. However, each insurer can decide the premium it will charge for coverage and is not required to offer all 10 standardized Medicare Supplement plans in South Carolina. You may be able to shop multiple insurance carriers for the best premium rate.
You can review the coverage offered by each plan type in the Medicare Supplement benefit plans chart.
How do I compare Medicare Supplement plans in South Carolina?
Consider your lifestyle, health, and financial concerns to determine which standardized Medicare Supplement plan provides the coverage that is most important to you. If you are planning on travel abroad, for example, you might find Medicare Supplement plans in South Carolina that offer coverage for emergency medical care abroad attractive. If you aren’t concerned about the financial impact of the annual Medicare Part B deductible on your budget, you may be buy Medicare Supplement Plan D or Plan G at a lower cost than Plan F. And as long as you don’t choose a SELECT Medicare Supplement, you can see any doctor or hospital in the United States who accepts Medicare. The point is to choose the Medicare Supplement plan in South Carolina that has the coverage that gives you the peace of mind in knowing you have insurance protecting you from medical expenses that would be a hardship.
To learn about Medicare Supplement plans in South Carolina, you can use the online Find Plan button on this page.
When can I purchase Medicare Supplement plans in South Carolina?
If you’re age 65 or older and buy a Medicare Supplement plan within six months of enrolling in Medicare Part B, you receive certain protections under federal law. Importantly, a Medicare Supplement insurer cannot turn you down or charge you a higher premium because of health problems you may have.
In addition, the Medicare Supplement plan you buy is renewable each year, as long as you continue to pay your Medicare Supplement plan premium. However, in most cases these federal protections exist when you buy a Medicare Supplement plan when you are first eligible for Medicare and enroll in Part B—referred to as the Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment period.
If you wait until a later time, or drop a Medicare Supplement plan and later decide to buy another Medicare Supplement plan in South Carolina, you may have difficulty getting Medicare Supplement insurance. Or you may have to pay a higher premium for coverage. Insurance companies may consider your age and health condition to make decisions about whether or not they will accept your application for coverage and what premium they will charge you if they provide coverage.
What else should I know about Medicare Supplement plans in South Carolina?
Listed below are a few other points you should keep in mind if you are considering buying Medicare Supplement insurance.
- A Medicare Supplement plan covers only one individual. Married couples who want Medicare Supplement plan coverage must apply for coverage separately, but they do not have to choose the same Medicare Supplement plan in South Carolina.
- The cost of your Medicare Supplement plan premium may depend on the type of plan you buy, the insurance company, your location, and your age.
- Medicare Supplement plans generally don’t cover long-term care, dental care, vision care, hearing aids, eyeglasses, or private-duty nursing. Plans sold after January 1, 2006, typically don’t cover prescription drug coverage.
If you would like help evaluating Medicare Supplement plans in South Carolina, please feel free to contact me. You can use one of the links below to set up a phone call with me or request personalized information from me by email.
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