South Carolina Senior Health Insurance
Explore Your Options
Residents who are 65 and older make up a little over 15% of the population in South Carolina. With its mild climate and ocean views, many seniors choose to call South Carolina home. When you are about to turn 65 or become eligible for Medicare, it’s important you understand all your options. In some cases you may decide to keep working and therefore stay on an employer plan. Even if this is the case, it’s still a good idea to speak with a Senior Health Insurance Specialist at My Senior Health Plan. A Specialist can compare your options with your employer plan and help you feel confident you are making the right decision. In South Carolina, you have the option to enroll into a Medicare Supplement Plan, Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan.
Medicare Supplement Plans, also known as Medigap plans, are standardized by the government. This means benefits don’t vary between the different private insurance companies that offer these plans. What does change between carriers is premium cost, customer service and carrier reputation. Some carriers are known to raise premium costs more frequently than others. Call MySeniorHealthPlan.com for information about carrier patterns in premium increases. Medicare Supplement premiums are based on the state in which you reside but you can use your benefits nationwide.
Medicare Supplements do not include coverage for your medications; therefore most seniors also purchase a Prescription Drug Plan. Prescription Drug Plans, also known as your Part D, are stand-alone plans sold by private insurance carriers. This plan will help cover the cost of your prescriptions, but typically don’t cover them 100%. Your prescriptions are categorized into tier levels and carriers will offer coverage for prescriptions based on those tier levels. The tier level for each prescription is located in the plan’s formulary. Think this wasn’t confusing enough? Some carriers offer multiple Prescription Drug Plans with different coverage. MySeniorHealthPlan.com can help make your options clear. They will be able to tell you what plans will coverage your prescriptions. If you need Extra Help paying for your prescriptions please click here.
Medicare Advantage Plans, or Part C plans, are offered by private insurance companies. These plans are regulated and approved by CMS, the Centers of Medicaid and Medicare Services. Although you still have Medicare Part A and B, these benefits are now handled by your chosen carrier. You do not need a Medicare Supplement Plan if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan. These are network based plans so you may need a referral to see a Specialist outside of your Primary Care Physician. For many, it’s important to keep their PCP, call My Senior Health Plan to see which plans your PCP accepts. Medicare Advantage Plans typically include prescription drug coverage. However, this is not always true so be sure you know the benefits of the plan in which you choose to enroll.
Some residents of South Carolina have Indian Health Services as well. The relationship between the Federal Government and Native American tribes constitutes various rules to follow. However, CMS has made Medicare & Medicaid healthcare services accessible to all Native Americans who are eligible. For more information visit http://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/American-Indian-Alaska-Native/AIAN/
Indian Health Services: http://www.ihs.gov
South Carolina Office of Aging: http://aging.sc.gov/Pages/default.aspx