The Best Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plans in South Carolina
- South Carolina Medicare Supplement Insurance plans are designed to help with out-of-pocket expenses like copays and deductibles. This review will provide you with helpful information on Medigap plans in South Carolina.
Medicare Part A and Part B are collectively known as Original Medicare and offer coverage for eligible individuals throughout South Carolina and the rest of the United States. This medical coverage, however, does not cover all out-of-pocket costs for Medicare participants. That's where Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Insurance comes into the picture. Medigap plans offer some help in managing the financial costs of care that are not covered by Medicare.
About 276,000 people in South Carolina are enrolled in a Medigap plan. This amounts to just over 34% of those eligible for these plans, however. If you are one of the roughly 65% of people who have Medicare but do not yet have Medigap insurance, you can learn more about this important coverage below.
You can find Medicare Supplement plans where you live by comparing plans from several different insurance companies online.
What Are the Best South Carolina Medicare Supplement Plans?
Like all but three U.S. states, South Carolina offers 10 Medigap plans, designated by letter, and these plans are standardized. What does this mean for you? In short, it means that Plan A coverage is the same from company to company. Only the price you pay changes for these plans.
Every Medicare Supplement Insurance plan in South Carolina offers coverage for Medicare Part A coinsurance costs and for an additional year's worth of hospitalization over and above that offered by Medicare. Each plan also includes some level of coverage for copays required by Medicare Part B. The differences between Medigap plans is explained in the helpful chart below.
For South Carolina Medicare recipients, the most popular plans include Plans F, G and N. It is worth noting that Plans C and F are not available to people who became eligible for Medicare in 2020 or later. These plans were discontinued by the 2015 Medicare Access and Chip Reauthorization Act but can still be chosen by those who turned 65 before January 1, 2020.
One reason for the popularity of Medigap Plans F, G and N may be the lower cost of premiums for these plans. Both Plans F and G, however, feature much higher deductibles than other higher-priced plans. Plan N covers a portion of the copay costs for doctor's visits and trips to the emergency room, which can take some of the financial stress out of these necessary medical treatments.
How Do I Enroll in a South Carolina Medigap Plan?
Beginning with the first day of the month in which you reach 65 years of age, you will have six months to enroll in Medigap coverage under preferred status. This open enrollment period is one of the only times during which you cannot be denied coverage for any plan you want to purchase. Additionally, insurance companies must offer you the opportunity to buy any Medicare Supplement Insurance plan they sell at the same premium rates they would offer to a perfectly healthy person. If you have other insurance coverage after the age of 65, your Medigap open enrollment period will start during the month when your current insurance ends and you purchase Medicare Part B coverage for the first time.
Enrolling in a Medigap plan during this six-month open enrollment period can prevent pre-existing conditions from affecting the rate you must pay insurers to obtain Medicare Supplement Insurance. It can also eliminate the possibility that you could be denied coverage because of your medical conditions. After this period of open enrollment concludes, insurers are free to use normal underwriting procedures to increase your rates for Medigap coverage or, in some cases, to deny your application outright.
In certain circumstances, you may be entitled to guaranteed issue rights outside the six-month period of initial Medigap open enrollment. These guaranteed issue rights are available for people who have lost their Medigap coverage because the company that provided their insurance has gone bankrupt. People who initially chose Medicare Advantage and wish to switch to Original Medicare and Medigap coverage are also eligible for guaranteed issue rights as long as they decide to make the switch within a year.
A six-month waiting period may be required by your Medigap plan provider before you can receive treatment for pre-existing conditions. If you had coverage for these medical issues for at least six months before applying for Medigap insurance, however, you may be entitled to immediate coverage for your pre-existing conditions.