Senior Medicare Advantage plan insurance in Charleston, 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 Charleston 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 Charleston
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 Charleston, 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 Charleston. 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.
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SC Ports leader credits deepened harbor, increased cargo capacity for growth
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - After more than $3 billion in infrastructure investments, South Carolina Ports is positioned to be the “preferred port” on the U.S. East Coast, the leader of the leader of South Carolina Ports says.South Carolina Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin announced plans during her second State of the Port address Monday to modernize the North Charleston Terminal to make it comparable to the Wando Welch Terminal. The result will be the addition of at least 2 million TEUs of additional capacity at the ...
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - After more than $3 billion in infrastructure investments, South Carolina Ports is positioned to be the “preferred port” on the U.S. East Coast, the leader of the leader of South Carolina Ports says.
South Carolina Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin announced plans during her second State of the Port address Monday to modernize the North Charleston Terminal to make it comparable to the Wando Welch Terminal. The result will be the addition of at least 2 million TEUs of additional capacity at the Port of Charleston.
A TEU is a twenty-foot equivalent unit, a measurement of cargo capacity roughly equal to the capacity of a standard 20-foot cargo container.
“We have the opportunity to enhance North Charleston Terminal and add capacity to an already-deepened asset to further support our customers’ supply chains,” Melvin said.
The Cooper River has been deepened up to the North Charleston Terminal as part of the Charleston Harbor Deepening project. That work, combined with the South Carolina Department of Transporation’s plans to replace the Don Holt Bridge on Interstate 526, sets the stage for the North Charleston Terminal modernization, she said.
“A taller bridge and deepened harbor can accommodate larger vessels and enhanced terminal capacity will drive growth,” Melvin said. “The South Carolina Department of Transportation is playing a pivotal role in this vision. We are excited to see this critical highway infrastructure project benefit the people who live here, as well as the businesses that depend on the port. These investments will support SC companies’ growth well into the future.”
Melvin said SC Ports is actively building port capacity and rail capabilities with the new Navy Base Intermodal Facility in North Charleston, saying they made “significant progress” over the past year to prepare the site for new cargo-handling equipment, buildings and rail tracks.
The state-of-the-art cargo yard will be served by CSX and Norfolk Southern when it opens in July 2025.
Plans also call for a future barge operation that will help transport containers between port terminals. State funding totaling $550 million will help make the infrastructure projects possible, she said.
“The South Carolina Legislature and Governor McMaster understand the key role our port plays in driving our state’s economy,” Melvin said. “When our port grows, our state thrives.”
SC Ports is also doubling cargo capacity and enhancing rail capabilities at Inland Port Greer to handle the customer growth in the Upstate over the past decade.
In the Lowcountry, where Charleston now boasts the deepest harbor on the U.S. East Coast at 52 feet, SC Ports has also invested in its ro-ro and breakbulk operation and high-performing container terminals.
The modernized Wando Welch Terminal offers 15 155-foot-tall ship-to-shore cranes, giving each berth five massive ship-to-shore cranes to work three ships at one time.
The state-of-the-art Leatherman Terminal stands ready with 700,000 TEUs of capacity to further support U.S. supply chains, she said.
“As a state, this all makes us more competitive. When we build port capacity, we attract more businesses, investments and jobs to our communities,” Melvin said. “These strategic investments have generational impact across our entire state. SC Ports is proud to keep freight moving for South Carolina.”
A 2023 SC Ports’ Economic Impact Study found that port activities support one in nine jobs in the state, compared to one out of every 10 back in 2019.
The total economic impact of South Carolina Ports is $86.7 billion annually, which supports 260,020 jobs and $17.6 billion in labor income, the study found. Up to 73.2% of all cargo exported through SC Ports originates from companies located in South Carolina.
The Southeastern United States is projected to experience more population gains than any other U.S. region through the year 2040 and South Carolina has the second-highest projected population growth with 22.5%.
Melvin also discussed the future of Union Pier and plans to work alongside the city of Charleston and the College of Charleston’s Riley Center for Livable Communities.
“We are within the next year moving that project forward in conjunction with all of the planning that the city will be doing for a union pier as well,” she said.
During her first report last October, she revealed that eleven of the past 12 months had been record-breaking months in terms of volume, leading Charleston to move up a slot to eighth in the nation.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
Charleston Wine + Food 2024 tickets on sale Oct. 19
This week Charleston Wine + Food (CHSWF) released its March 6 through March 10, 2024 schedule; tickets for the annual food festival go on sale at 11 a.m. Oct. 19. The 2024 festival features more than 100 events including signature dinners, excursions and the much-loved Culinary Village.All events are all-inclusive, and separate tickets are sold for individual events. There are two weekend pass ticket options, which both include access to the Culinary Vill...
This week Charleston Wine + Food (CHSWF) released its March 6 through March 10, 2024 schedule; tickets for the annual food festival go on sale at 11 a.m. Oct. 19. The 2024 festival features more than 100 events including signature dinners, excursions and the much-loved Culinary Village.
All events are all-inclusive, and separate tickets are sold for individual events. There are two weekend pass ticket options, which both include access to the Culinary Village and, depending on the pass, up to five signature events.
Alyssa Maute Smith, the festival’s executive director since January 2023, said the festival hopes to offer an experience for everyone, from locals to visitors. In that vein, the festival brings back its free street festival which was held for the first time last year and saw more than 3,500 attendees. Partnering with the city of Charleston, the Upper King Street festival featured food trucks, a wine and beer garden and live entertainment.
“It was hyper local and really family-friendly,” Maute Smith said. “Because all of our events are 21 and up, we know that parents like to engage in that level of culinary experience, too.”
The 2024 festival introduces a dedicated non-alcoholic zone, the “sober garden,” in the Culinary Village, which will feature non-alcoholic wines and cocktails. Maute Smith said the festival is also amping up its low ABV options and bringing back last year’s Counter Culture coffee bar in the Culinary Village.
The festival has offered low- and no-ABV options for years now, but this year, Maute Smith said there will be even more of an emphasis on education, including some low-ABV workshops.
Also new this year is an event called Lowcountry High Life, which celebrates all things Lowcountry, from boiled peanuts to ice cold beer.
As always, the festival offers a lengthy list of signature dinners and events which highlight both visiting and local chefs.
Maute Smith pointed to the Palmira Barbecue Signature Dinner as an example of one event that personifies the festival’s general mission: to bring in global and dynamic flavors while staying rooted in the Lowcountry. The dinner features Palmira’s chef Hector Garate and Houston’s Khói Barbecue chef Don Nguyen cooking up what they’re calling “Sovieto-style barbecue,” fusing Puerto Rican and Vietnamese cuisines with barbecue traditions from Texas and the Carolinas.
“Charleston is a port city, and we draw in travelers from all over the world,” Maute Smith said. “Something that’s been exciting for me as someone who’s from here is to see [the city’s history] brought back to the forefront of our dining scene. The amount of new international restaurants that have opened in the past five years is phenomenal.”
Maute Smith said the 2024 festival includes more signature dinners, lunches and brunches than ever before. While low-capacity events do tend to sell out, there is the option to get on a waitlist for popular events.
“These sit-down dining experiences are rooted in storytelling,” she said. One dinner with a particular emphasis on storytelling is The Root of it All, featuring chef Kevin Mitchell and James Beard-nominated Black food historian KJ Kearney.
Presented by the Department of Agriculture, this event looks at the past, present and future of Black farmers, purveyors and chefs.
In general, Maute Smith said “farmers and purveyors are the stars of the plate” at CHSWF. “Due to our proximity to the sea, and being an agriculture-heavy state, we have access to the best of the best ingredients,” she said.
All CHSWF chefs and participants receive stipends for their ingredients, and the festival offers a preferred local vendor list to encourage them to support local farmers and purveyors.
Learn more and buy tickets online at charlestonwineandfood.com.
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Charleston port CEO highlights ‘bold’ $2B investments to keep SC globally competitive
The top executive of the S.C. State Ports Authority acknowledged both short-term challenges and long-term opportunities built on an “unshakeable foundation” of several big-ticket public expenditures on projects designed to support and grow the maritime industry.“We have a growth plan to expand with you,” CEO Barbara Melvin said in her annual update Oct. 16. “We’ve invested more than $2 billion in port infrastructure in recent years, and we have more investments on the horizon.”Among the...
The top executive of the S.C. State Ports Authority acknowledged both short-term challenges and long-term opportunities built on an “unshakeable foundation” of several big-ticket public expenditures on projects designed to support and grow the maritime industry.
“We have a growth plan to expand with you,” CEO Barbara Melvin said in her annual update Oct. 16. “We’ve invested more than $2 billion in port infrastructure in recent years, and we have more investments on the horizon.”
Among the biggest completed “long-cycle” investments are the $1 billon completion of the first phase of the Leatherman Terminal in 2021 and the more recent $580 million dredging project by the Army Corps of Engineers that gave Charleston, at 52 feet, the deepest shipping channel on the East Coast.
An ongoing $468 million state-funded project will create a “near-dock” truck-and-rail hub on the old Navy base in North Charleston. It is scheduled to open in mid-2025.
“These strategic investments have generational impact across our entire state,” Melvin said. “When we build port capacity, we attract more businesses … and jobs to our communities.”
The spending spree isn’t over. Melvin announced Monday that the S.C. Department of Transportation will elevate the existing Don Holt Bridge as part of a larger improvement plan for Interstate 526, though that is likely a decade or more away. A higher span will enable taller cargo ships to clear the structure and reach the SPA’s North Charleston Terminal on the Cooper River, which will “enhance a high-performing terminal with renewed capacity to handle future growth,” Melvin said.
She said that by “modernizing existing operations, upgrading cargo-handling equipment and optimizing … layout,” the port property next to the recently shuttered WestRock paper mill could handle up to 2.4 million standard-size containers annually, or about as many as the workhorse Wando Welch Terminal in Mount Pleasant.
“When we see North Charleston Terminal, we see growth on the horizon,” Melvin said.
Atlanta-based Delta reported just over 652,000 for the same period, declining by 1 percent from the previous 12 months.
American commanded 24.3 percent of the Charleston air travel market while Delta had 22.7 percent. Other double-digit percentage carriers included Southwest at 14.7 percent and United with 14.1 percent.
Delta, which started serving Charleston with mail and passenger service in the early 1930s, has a long history of having the largest share of passengers out of the state’s busiest airport. It previously slipped behind American once before.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the 12 months from July 2020 to June 2021 when very few people were traveling by air, Delta saw 22.5 percent of all departing passengers while American soared to 29.1 percent.
An American spokeswoman attributed the airline’s rise to its strategy of offering more than 40 nonstop daily flights from CHS to six of the company’s largest hubs, where passengers can connect to other flights.
American flies to its home base in the Lone Star State as well as Charlotte, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami and Reagan National in Washington, D.C., according to Charleston airport’s website.
“American provides local customers access to its expansive global network and offers more ways for customers worldwide to experience all that Charleston has to offer,” Bri Harper said.
A Delta representative said the carrier remains committed to Charleston and is “proud” to see the Lowcountry passenger count return to pre-pandemic levels.
“We look forward to continue evaluating opportunities for growth in Charleston as customer demand and market conditions allow,” spokesman Drake Castañeda said.
Delta also serves six airports from the Lowcountry in different markets than American. In addition to nonstop flights to its home base in the Georgia capital, it also flies to Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis and New York City’s LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy airports.
Charleston Gaillard Center to Present 10th Anniversary ROCKABILLAQUE SWINGIN' HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR
The 10th Anniversary Rockabillaque Swingin' Holiday Spectacular will join The Charleston Gaillard Center's Spiegeltent lineup on Friday, December 1.Tickets on sale Friday, October 20 at 11AM EST at Click Here. Gaillard Center Members receive presale access. Become a Member today! C...
The 10th Anniversary Rockabillaque Swingin' Holiday Spectacular will join The Charleston Gaillard Center's Spiegeltent lineup on Friday, December 1.
Tickets on sale Friday, October 20 at 11AM EST at Click Here. Gaillard Center Members receive presale access. Become a Member today! Contact their Advancement Office at [email protected] or (843) 718-1578 for more information.
The Swingin' Holiday Spectacular will be a special night celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Rockabillaque Charleston in the unique and spectacular Spiegeltent at the Gaillard Center making for an unforgettable experience. The night will be an action-packed line-up of live music with the wild Rock N' Roll/Rhythm & Blues sounds of Nashville's The Hi-Jivers featuring the bluesy, soulful vocals of Dawna Zahne. The band won an Ameripolitan Music Award for top Rockabilly band in 2023! The band's sound is inspired by the 50's and 60's but with a modern day twist of their distinctive passionate and wild original sound!
Also on the line-up is Brooklyn, New York's Screamin' Rebel Angels with their unrelenting and infectious original Rock 'n Roll sound. The band has been keeping the dance floors pulsing, and roofs rattling across stages, airwaves and turntables around the globe since 2011. Lead singer Laura Palmer was the 2020 Ameripolitan Award Winner for best 'Rockabilly Female.' The band will be bringin' their untamed live sound featuring high-octane sonic adventures that invoke the primitive energy of 1950s Rock 'n Roll infused with the soul of early Rhythm & Blues.
The show will be hosted by Miss Rockabillaque 2022 Pinup Winner, Miss Louie Le'Breeze, and the night will also feature the Miss Swingin' Holiday Pinup Contest, featuring contestants showing off their mid century glamor style, personality and attitude to compete for the title of Miss Swingin' Holiday 2023. Plus premier Classic Cars will be showcased at the entrance to the venue.
The festival started off as an idea of how great it would be to see classic cars parked all along E Montague Ave on the historic main strip in the Park Circle neighborhood of North Charleston, SC. So in 2013 they dove in and created Rockabillaque (rock-a-bill-a-que) which is the combined name of rockabilly music meets bbq. The show was one block long with a flatbed stage, forty classic cars, six bands and drew 1200 people who came out to enjoy the day. They were blown away and considered it a big success!
Now ten years later it has grown to be the biggest festival of its kind in the Carolinas with over 20k in attendees coming out annually for the action-packed weekend of fun. They now have over four outdoor stages, over twenty-five bands coming from all over the map including nationally and internationally, over 400 car and bikes in the Classic Car & Vintage Bike Show, over 70 vendors, their Pinup Contests has over 35 ladies compete annually for the title plus the Tattoo and Beard & Mustache Contests. Now celebrating their 10th Anniversary it is truly amazing to look back at how much Rockabillaque has grown, with people coming in from all over to experience the action-packed weekend of fun every year.
Rockabillaque is produced by Simon Cantlon of Vive Le Rock Productions who also produces Park Circle Pride. Rockabillaque has also expanded to its sister event, Rockabillaque Florida, which is now in its 4th year and returns January 20th, 2024 to the Seminole Casino in Immokalee, Florida. They also pride ourselves with their charity work with every festival being a fundraiser for an amazing organization including in past years, This Is Noteworthy, Valiant Animal Rescue and Park Circle Cares. This year they are in support of men's health programs funded by Movember, including cancer, mental health and more. Find out more about Rockabillaque here www.rockabillaque.com
ABOUT THE CHARLESTON GAILLARD CENTER:
A leader in the performing arts in the Southeast, the Charleston Gaillard Center commissions, supports, and presents ambitious, multidisciplinary cultural programming and provides access to the best local, national, and global artists and companies on its stage. Deeply rooted in the community, the Gaillard Center committed to elevating local and regional voices and partnering with Charleston institutions to reflect the city's diversity, both on stage and off. Through programming on its public campus and extensive arts education initiatives, the Gaillard Center serves as a platform to participate in community building and essential dialogue.
Established as a nonprofit in 2015, its campus includes the 1,818-seat Martha and John M. Rivers Performance Hall, a 16,000 square-foot exhibition hall that is home to artistic activations, community and corporate events, and celebrations, and an adjacent park space that was recently activated for artistic presentations. Behind the scenes the Gaillard Center also fosters a culture of excellence and inclusion, employing a robust and talented staff, and providing opportunities for growth and engagement across the arts sector. Find more information and upcoming programming at gaillardcenter.org.