Senior Medicare Advantage plan insurance in Bluffton, SC
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Helping Seniors Make Better-Informed Medicare Decisions
Trying to pick a health insurance plan can be a chore for anyone. For many people, just mentioning the word "open enrollment" sends shivers down the spine. It seems like there's always a nagging feeling that you're wasting money, choosing a plan with poor in-network care, or both. One would think that health insurance gets easier as you approach retirement age, but the truth is that picking an initial Medicare coverage plan can be daunting.
Unfortunately, the confusing process of signing up for Medicare causes many seniors to forego healthcare coverage altogether. After all, Medicare enrollment can involve several federal agencies, including the Social Security Administration (or SSA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (or CMS).
At Senior Medicare Insurance Services, our passion is guiding seniors through the confusion of Medicare. That way, they can enjoy retirement with peace of mind knowing they are protected and ready for life after 65. We work with dozens of insurance companies, giving our clients the chance to choose a plan that best fits their lifestyle.
We choose to design our senior insurance plans with a focus on optimal benefits structure, lower costs, and personalized service. Some independent insurance agencies see their aging customers as nothing more than a financial transaction waiting to happen. In contrast, we treat each of our clients with respect and dignity as we help them navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. Combined with individualized service, we help older Americans make well-informed decisions about insurance. Whether you're in need of senior Medicare Supplement Plan insurance in Bluffton or simply have questions about signing up for Medicare, our team is here to help.
Guiding You Through The Confusion of Medicare!Request a Consultation
What is Medicare?
If you're approaching the golden years of your life, it's important you understand what Medicare is if you don't already.
Medicare is a federal health insurance program reserved for people older than 65 who have worked full-time for at least ten years. The Medicare program is paid for by a combination of worker payroll tax, premiums paid by Medicare enrollees, and the U.S. government.
There are four parts of Medicare:
The amount of money you pay for your health care depends on several factors, including:
At Senior Medicare Insurance Services, we offer a number of health insurance solutions for seniors. Two of our most used services include Medicare Advantage plan insurance and Medicare supplement plan insurance.
Senior Medicare Supplement Plan Insurance in Bluffton
Sometimes called Medigap, the purpose of Medicare Supplement Insurance is to help fill in "gaps" that might not be covered by Original Medicare. You can think of a Medigap policy as a supplement for your Original Medicare benefits.
Private companies like Senior Medicare Insurance Services sell this type of insurance right here in South Carolina. While Original Medicare will pay for much of the cost associated with health care services you need, it may not cover all of your expenses. Generally, Medigap policies do not cover costs stemming from eyeglasses, private-duty nurses, dental care, hearing aids, or long-term care.
Depending on the Medicare Supplement Plan that you choose, it may cover out-of-the-country medical services when you travel abroad. Assuming you have Original Medicare coverage, your policy will cover its share of Medicare-approved health care costs. Once your Original Medicare coverage reaches its limit, your Medigap policy will pay its share of the fees.
Our Medigap policies are drafted to meet your specific needs, and can help cover remaining health care costs such as:
Important Information About Senior Supplement Plan Insurance
To dispel some confusion, you should know that a Medigap policy is not the same as a Medicare Advantage Plan. The latter helps you receive Medicare benefits, while the former supplements the benefits you obtain through your Original Medicare plan. As you begin to explore Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, keep the following important information in mind:
As you begin to explore Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, keep the following important information in mind:
- To qualify for a Medigap policy, you must first have Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
- Payments on your Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan will be made to the private insurance company that you choose, like Senior Medicare Insurance Services. These payments are made every month and are paid in addition to the monthly payment you make for Medicare Part B.
- If you are the holder of a Medicare Advantage Plan, it is illegal for an insurance company to sell you a senior Medicare Supplement Policy. If you plan on switching back to an Original Medicare plan, you may be able to purchase a Medigap policy.
- If you have health problems as you age, your standardized Medigap policy is guaranteed to be renewable. So long as you pay your monthly premium, your insurance provider cannot cancel your policy.
- Medigap policies only cover one person. If you have a spouse or family member that would like coverage, they must purchase a separate policy.
- You may only buy a Senior Medicare Supplement Plan from an insurance agent that is licensed to sell them in your state. Senior Medicare Insurance Services has been licensed to sell Medigap policies in South Carolina for years. We have helped countless seniors get the Medicare coverage they need and continue to do so to this day.
- In the past, Medigap policies were able to cover costs related to prescription drugs. As of January 1st, 2006, prescription drug coverage is not available on Medicare Supplement Plans. The best way to get coverage for your prescription drugs is to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, often called Part D. Contact our office today to learn more about paying premiums on Medigap and Medicare plans.
Senior Medicare Advantage Plan Insurance in Bluffton, SC
A Medicare Advantage Plan is a kind of Medicare health coverage designed to provide seniors with all their Part A and Part B Medicare benefits. Many Medicare Advantage Plans will often include coverage of the following:
In addition, most Medicare Advantage Plans give seniors coverage for their prescription drug needs. When you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan through Senior Medicare Insurance Services, your Medicare benefits are covered through your plan and will not be paid for by traditional Medicare.
How Medicare Advantage Plans Work
Sometimes called "MA Plans" or "Part C," Medicare Advantage Plans are considered an "all in one" solution to Original Medicare. Senior Medicare Advantage Plans are only offered by private companies that are approved, like Senior Medicare Insurance Services. Seniors who enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan are still on Medicare. However, these individuals enjoy bundled plans that give seniors the benefits of hospital insurance (Medicare Part A), medical insurance (Medicare Part B), and sometimes drug coverage (Part D).
Medicare Advantage Plans are very popular because they cover all Medicare services and make life a little easier for seniors who have trouble understanding the nuances of Medicare.
When you contact Senior Medicare Insurance Services to choose your Medicare Advantage Plan, ask your agent about Medicare prescription drug coverage. Unless you already have drug coverage (Part D), you should seriously consider Part D coverage to help reduce costs associated with prescription drugs. You may also want to consider a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan to help fill gaps in coverage that Original Medicare will not cover.
Medicare Advantage Plan Insurance Rules
Medicare works by paying a set amount of money to the companies that offer senior Medicare Advantage Plan insurance in Bluffton. That money is used to pay for the care services that you need. Because Medicare Advantage Plans are different, you should expect out-of-pocket costs to vary depending on the plan you choose.
Different plans have different rules for how you receive services, such as:
- If you must go to facilities, suppliers, or doctors that belong to your Advantage Plan for non-urgent and non-emergency care.
- Whether you must get a referral to see a specialized doctor
Companies that offer Medicare Advantage Plans must follow strict rules, which are set by Medicare and can change every year.
Paying for Your Senior Medicare Advantage Plan Insurance
How much you pay for your Medicare Advantage Plan varies and depends on a few different factors. In most cases, if you need a kind of medical service, you will need to rely on the doctors and providers in your plan's service area and network to pay the lowest amounts. In some cases, if you choose to use a service outside of your plan's network of coverage, you may have to pay out-of-pocket.
We encourage you to contact our office today to learn more about Medicare Advantage Plans, how they work, what your options are, and how often you will have to pay out-of-pocket, if at all.
The Senior Medicare Insurance Services Commitment
Since our company was founded, we have led the insurance industry by providing our clients with the most valuable, helpful insurance solutions available. We are fully committed to our current and prospective clients by:
- Choosing to focus on personalized, one-on-one service. When you work with our team, know that we will always design your health insurance plan with your best interests in mind.
- Listening to your specific needs.
- Responding to all inquiries and questions promptly and with a friendly attitude.
- Providing you with the best customer service in the senior health insurance industry, whether you have questions or are ready to move forward with a Medicare plan.
Our mission is to help give seniors the best Medicare assistance available so that they may understand the Medicare process and make an informed health coverage decision. We have the knowledge, skills, and experience to assist anyone interested in Medicare. Our personal goal is to become a lifetime resource for our clients and give them greater confidence in choosing their insurance plans.
Latest News in Bluffton, SC
‘Nothing like it’: Okan serving up West African-inspired cuisine in Old Town Bluffton
A nationally recognized chef plus a prime location in Old Town Bluffton are adding up to the newest sensation on the Bluffton restaurant scene.Okan opened June 22 in The Bridge Collective at the intersection of Calhoun Street and Bridge Street. Helmed by chef Bernard Bennett, a James Beard Foundation semifinalist, and business partners...
A nationally recognized chef plus a prime location in Old Town Bluffton are adding up to the newest sensation on the Bluffton restaurant scene.
Okan opened June 22 in The Bridge Collective at the intersection of Calhoun Street and Bridge Street. Helmed by chef Bernard Bennett, a James Beard Foundation semifinalist, and business partners Matt Cunningham and Benjamin Carson, the restaurant offers African-inspired dishes that don’t typically grace Lowcountry menus.
“There’s nothing like it,” Cunningham said.
In fact, the menu at Okan includes a glossary for those unfamiliar with the cuisine. Still, the hope is that diners will be able to see the influences African culture and the slave trade have had on local foods.
“Rice is a big part of the story that we’re trying to tell,” Bennett told The Island Packet. “Rice was a cash crop, definitely during the slave trade. … Jollof rice, in my opinion, is the mother rice of several dishes — tomato-based dishes. Think of dishes like jambalaya, red rice, paella, all have this influence from jollof rice.”
Other menu offerings include bara, a flatbread popular in Trinidad, served with mango chutney; a fonio pilaf bowl made with a traditional West African grain; and obe ata potatoes inspired by a Nigerian red pepper stew.
Main courses like jerk goat served with carrots, duck and oyster gumbo, or cashew curry with lobster tails and pumpkin dumplings are fragrant and flavorful tributes to communal “hearth” cooking over a fire.
There are multiple vegetarian and vegan options as well, such as a hearty ital stew made with coconut milk and vegetables, or djon djon noodles, a Haitian dish that includes several different types of mushrooms.
Entree prices are generally in the $30-40 range, while shareable appetizers and sides are between $10 and $15. The restaurant has a bar with a menu of specialty cocktails, wine and beer.
While reservations aren’t required at Okan, they are highly recommended, Cunningham said. On Wednesday, which marked a week since the restaurant’s opening, there were 77 reservations on the books.
“It’s been packed,” Cunningham said. “The response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive.”
“I’m personally happily surprised that, even though we’ve just gotten started, we have already been seeing a lot of repeat guests,” said Carson.
Both men said it has been gratifying to be thanked for bringing a different kind of restaurant to Bluffton.
“An overwhelming response has been an excitement to have something new that pushes the boundaries and norms for cuisine and cocktails in the area,” Carson said.
Bennett grew up and went to school in Michigan but was working in Chicago during the pandemic when the restaurant industry took a hard hit, especially in the northern winter’s cold when it wasn’t comfortable for diners to sit outside. He made the decision to relocate to Bluffton because he had family here.
Okan, which means “heart and soul” in the Yoruba language of West Africa, is the culmination of a dream several years in the making. It started as a food truck last fall while plans were being laid and construction completed.
The food truck, which has been a popular addition to the Bluffton Farmers Market in Old Town and Starland Yard in Savannah, among other locations, is expected to return to a consistent schedule once the restaurant team is at full capacity.
In addition to Okan, The Bridge Collective is home to J Parker, a luxury apparel brand, and En Dentelle, a lingerie shop. Businesses yet to open include Fiddle and Shine, which sells home goods; a Bluffton Candles gift shop; and Collab, a clothing boutique. The development also includes 11 apartments, a mix of unfurnished long-term rentals, furnished short-term rentals and Airbnbs.
Where: 71 Calhoun St, Suite 100, Bluffton
When: 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday; hours will be expanded
This story was originally published July 3, 2023, 10:07 AM.
Condos for cars? Buyers in Bluffton development won’t live there, but their vehicles will
Developers are building condos off S.C. 170 in Bluffton, but people won’t live there. Their cars will.CarVillage USA, an “automotive enthusiasts’ club,” will have 31 car condos on a five-acre site between the Village at Verdier and S.C. 170 near Seagrass Station.Despite the use of the term condo, these aren’t going to be residences. A car condo is essentially a climate-controlled, indoor garage for multiple cars. Owners will b...
Developers are building condos off S.C. 170 in Bluffton, but people won’t live there. Their cars will.
CarVillage USA, an “automotive enthusiasts’ club,” will have 31 car condos on a five-acre site between the Village at Verdier and S.C. 170 near Seagrass Station.
Despite the use of the term condo, these aren’t going to be residences. A car condo is essentially a climate-controlled, indoor garage for multiple cars. Owners will be able to customize their condos as they see fit or, if they need more space, buy multiple condos and have them combined into one.
“Guys like to have their own space,” said Gary Brown, one of the people behind the unique development. “They have their fancy cars. They’re working on them. They have a new home, but it’s got a two-car garage. That’s not going to work.”
Each condo will start at 1,680 square feet, which is expected to be enough for six-cars.
The starting cost for a condo is $550,000. Brown said anyone who signs up before Monday at noon will get a $10,000 discount; community leaders will be at Hilton Head Island’s Concours d’Elegance and Motoring Festival over the weekend .
In terms of customization, the only limit will be the owner’s imagination.
“These units have mezzanines, and the mezzanines are designed in a way that you can do whatever you want to do,” Brown said. “Whatever makes you happy.”
That could mean office space or furniture.
There are a few places like this across the United States, Brown said. However, the social aspect of the Bluffton location makes it stand out.
CarVillage is being designed to be more than just a place to keep cars. Instead, it is meant to be a place for car collectors to gather and hang out.
A 20,000-square-foot clubhouse will include an F-1 racer simulator, a full bar, a pool hall, private offices, a cigar lounge, detailing services, a kitchen for catering, private wine bottle storage, and a lift for servicing and washing vehicles.
There are also plans for events like car shows that would be open to the public and “coffee and cars” meetups for car enthusiasts on the weekends.
“With all of these units and all of these owners, it’s natural for us to be sort of a clearinghouse for the members,” Brown said.
According to the CarVillage website, five condos already have been sold and six have been reserved.
Club membership at CarVillage will be limited to 250 members. Members will not have to be condo owners. The upper level of one of the buildings will include general storage members can rent to store their vehicles.
Brown’s team is expecting to break ground on the project in February and expects construction to take about a year.
Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka on Hurricane Idalia: 'Control what you can and be proactive'
The National Weather Service forecasts that Idalia will be at hurricane strength as it reaches southeast Georgia late Wednesday afternoon, then becoming a tropical storm as it tracks along the South Carolina coast. NWS also stated a flood watch in southeast South Carolina will be in effect through Wednesday.South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency Tuesday ahead of po...
The National Weather Service forecasts that Idalia will be at hurricane strength as it reaches southeast Georgia late Wednesday afternoon, then becoming a tropical storm as it tracks along the South Carolina coast. NWS also stated a flood watch in southeast South Carolina will be in effect through Wednesday.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency Tuesday ahead of potential impacts caused by Idalia. McMaster warned residents should take precautions despite the state likely missing the "worst of Hurricane Idalia’s impacts."
Track the storm here:How will Hurricane Idalia impact SC?
Hurricane Idalia:Gov. McMaster declares State of Emergency for South Carolina
Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka shares letter to residents
Bluffton Mayor Lisa Sulka shared a letter to residents of her city.
Thank you for preparing for Hurricane/Tropical Storm Idalia.
Historically, the busiest time for storm activity happens in this area from late August through mid-October. Unfortunately, this storm activity is following its normal pattern and timeline.
As Mayor, I hope to give you the information you need to feel informed and keep you safe. Storm preparation is a group activity, and we need you to be mindful and take some actions for the best possible outcome.
Let me assure you that Town leaders and staff are on regular calls throughout each day to keep our communities as safe as possible. As we say each year, “We may be able to put a person on the moon, however, we cannot predict a hurricane with precision.” Nature has the final word about hurricanes, their path, and timing. Information is constantly changing – the antidote to a lack of control is to control what you can and be proactive.
This storm is most likely to bring standing water, power failures and downed trees.
Hurricane Idalia: List of things to do before storm hits
Hurricane Idalia: Town of Bluffton offices closed
Hurricane Idalia: Utility Contacts
Please keep posted to the Town’s social media platforms and we will be communicating new information as we receive it. Stay safe, Bluffton!
Mayor Lisa Sulka
USA Today contributed to this story.
Unclean gloves, bare hands noted by restaurant inspectors in Hilton Head and Bluffton
Three Beaufort County food businesses, along with one in Jasper County, were cited with “B” grades in November health inspections by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control:New York City Pizza, 107 Towne Drive in Bluffton, scored an 80% (B) on Nov. 14 in a routine inspection. Issues noted by inspectors included the lack of a Certified Food Protection Manager certificate; food h...
Three Beaufort County food businesses, along with one in Jasper County, were cited with “B” grades in November health inspections by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control:
New York City Pizza, 107 Towne Drive in Bluffton, scored an 80% (B) on Nov. 14 in a routine inspection. Issues noted by inspectors included the lack of a Certified Food Protection Manager certificate; food handler moving from task to task, going outside and returning to food handling, without changing gloves; no chlorine in the chemical dish machine; issues with cold food temperatures on the pizza prep table; food without date marks; food held longer than seven days; toxic chemicals stored with food and in food prep areas; working spray bottles of chemicals without identifying labeling; and the outdoor ice machine draining to the ground.
SERG Catering, 12 Capital Drive on Hilton Head Island, scored an 85% (B) on Nov. 15 in a routine inspection. Issues noted by inspectors included issues with cold food temperatures in the open display cooler; food held longer than seven days; a working spray bottle of chemicals in the dish area without labeling; bug repellent stored on food prep table; ice scoops stored directly on top of the outdoor ice machine; single service items stored on the floor of the dry storage area; outdoor cooking without authorization along with no means to protect food items from contamination during transport and cooking, using a smoker/grill on an unfinished surface that is not easily cleanable and no hand-washing sink available during the process.
Wise Guys Lounge, 1513 Main St. on Hilton Head, scored an 83% (B) on Nov. 27 in a routine inspection that was the result of a public complaint. Issues noted by inspectors included issues with cold food temperatures in the walk-in cooler and on the cook line; food held longer than seven days; food held longer than 24 hours without date marks; fresh herbs, raspberries and strawberries subject to splash from spoiled arugula; gaskets to the outdoor walk-in coolers with accumulation of grime; food debris and meat juice on the bottom of the protein walk-in cooler; and an accumulation of grease and food splatter on the sides of equipment.
The following restaurant is located in Jasper County but is frequented by many Beaufort County residents because of its location near the county line. During November, DHEC inspectors conducted 33 checks of Jasper County businesses; all others were given A grades.
Rio Chico, 468D Mark Cummings Road, Suite 107, in Hardeeville, scored an 84% (B) on Nov. 20 in a routine inspection. Issues noted by inspectors included an employee cutting and handling ready-to-eat fruit with bare hands; beans cooked the night before and still in the process of cooling; the lack of a date-marking system; food held longer than 24 hours without date marks; gaskets of the drawer cooler dried, torn and in poor repair; grease and food debris on line-cooking equipment; food debris and splatter on equipment storage shelving; and an excess of trash, spillage and food debris on floors behind equipment.
Inspectors hand out a grade of A, B or C, depending on the conditions found at the time. Points are docked for a variety of infractions, and restaurants have a chance to correct the problems and improve their score.
During November, DHEC recorded 126 inspections of restaurants, schools, stores and other food establishments in Beaufort County. The agency publishes the results of these health inspections on its website.
Newer food grade decals include a QR code that customers can scan with their phones to see a food establishment’s latest report.
Below are the SC DHEC restaurant grades in Beaufort County from Nov. 1-30, 2023.
At the top left of the chart, there is a space to search for the name of a restaurant. Please note that this month’s inspections take up two pages. Switch to page 2 at the top right.
After Idalia in Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton: Rain totals, damage, power outage, more
Residents of South Carolina Lowcountry counties breathed a collective sigh of relief Thursday after Tropical Storm Idalia roared through on Wednesday, leaving flooded roads and some people without power.High winds and inches of rain from Idalia bombarded Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties Wednesday evening.The highest wind gust that w...
Residents of South Carolina Lowcountry counties breathed a collective sigh of relief Thursday after Tropical Storm Idalia roared through on Wednesday, leaving flooded roads and some people without power.
High winds and inches of rain from Idalia bombarded Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties Wednesday evening.
The highest wind gust that was seen in Beaufort County during the storm Wednesday was 66 mph, the National Weather Service reported, adding that wind speeds at Battery Point in the Beaufort area peaked at 57 mph, and the Beaufort Marine Corps Airspace reported wind gusts of 49 mph.
Rainfall in the Beaufort, Jasper, and Hampton County areas was measured at 2 to 8 inches, the NWS said.
As the inches of rain came down, nearby water sources swelled causing flooding in the Lowcountry.
Several roads and neighborhoods in Hampton County remained flooded Thursday, and Hampton County Emergency Management Director Susanne Peeples urged caution when traveling. The Savannah River area had a flood warning that extended into the afternoon.
Power outages in Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties
Tray Hunter, marketing director at Palmetto Electric, reported that around 9,531 Beaufort County customers lost power during Idalia. In Jasper County, 3,121 residents were without power and 1,628 were without power in Hampton County. Hunter said that Palmetto Electric employees were able to restore power to all customers just after midnight going into Thursday, Aug. 31.
As of 9:15 a.m., Peeples said that 319 Dominion customers around the county were still without power. Some of these are "major outages," said Peeples, and several roads need to be cleared in order to repair the outages, so it was likely to be midday or later before power could be restored to some areas.
At 7 a.m. Thursday, Dominion had more than 6,000 customers statewide without power, with 978 of those customers in Jasper County, Peeples said.
Jasper County shelter closes
Jasper County Emergency Services, in an email, said that it had closed the shelter early Thursday morning that had been opened as Hurricane Idalia bore down on the state.
"Jasper County Emergency Services is thankful for minimal impacts to our community," the release said.
The shelter had opened for those who needed a place to go during the hurricane. Volunteers worked Wednesday morning to close the shelter down with the help of several local agencies.
Schools and county office closings and reopenings
All Hampton County offices will reopen at 8 a.m. Friday. Hampton County School District (the public schools) were already scheduled to be closed for Friday and Monday due to the Labor Day holiday weekend, so they will reopen on Tuesday as scheduled.
Jasper County and Beaufort County schools will resume classes on Friday, Sept. 1.
When did Idalia make landfall?
Idalia made landfall at about 7:45 a.m. EDT Wednesday near Keaton Beach in Florida's Big Bend. The storm came ashore southeast of Tallahassee as a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph.
Idalia remained a hurricane as moved north, northeast into Georgia before hitting the South Carolina Lowcountry as a tropical storm.
How big was Idalia?
The storm spanned nearly 350 miles across, an area about the size of Colorado, which measures 380 miles across.
Satellite imagery captured Aug. 30-31, by NASA GOES East satellites, shows Idalia breaking up as it moved into the Atlantic. Hurricane Franklin can also be seen in the same imagery as the storms draw closer together.
USA Today contributed to this report.