Senior Medicare Advantage plan insurance in Columbia, 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 Columbia 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 Columbia
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 Columbia, 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 Columbia. 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 Columbia, SC
15 interesting facts about Columbia that may surprise you
If you know us, you know we’re here for the deep cuts — and there’s plenty of interesting factoids to go around. As connoisseurs of the quirky and unconventional, we put together a list of the Soda City’s history, oddest characteristics, and more. Maybe you’ve lived here your whole life and know some of this, or maybe you’ll learn something new.Either way, test your local knowledge with these 15 interesting facts.1. The South Caroliniana Library was the first college library in the nat...
If you know us, you know we’re here for the deep cuts — and there’s plenty of interesting factoids to go around. As connoisseurs of the quirky and unconventional, we put together a list of the Soda City’s history, oddest characteristics, and more. Maybe you’ve lived here your whole life and know some of this, or maybe you’ll learn something new.
Either way, test your local knowledge with these 15 interesting facts.
1. The South Caroliniana Library was the first college library in the nation built as a separate building in 1840. The freestanding library was constructed at the University of South Carolina, and you can read the full history of the library here.
2. Columbia has star power as numerous athletes, actors, and authors hail from the capital city. This includes 2020 Masters Tournament champion Dustin Johnson, R&B singer Angie Stone, and Kristin Davis, known for her role as Charlotte on “Sex and the City.”
3. Lake Murray was built in the 1920’s — and at the time — was the largest (50,000 acres) man-made lake in the country. The Saluda Dam (popularly known as the Lake Murray Dam) was also the largest earthen dam in the world when it was built.
4. Georgia O’Keeffe, a well-known modern artist of the 20th century, taught art at Columbia College in 1915. While there, she produced the charcoal sketches that found their way to Alfred Stieglitz – who took up promoting her art… and the rest is history.
5. 1,284. That’s how many toasters Kenneth Huggins has in the world’s largest collection which he stores in his home and a special-built storage house. Soda Citizens hold several world records in the Guinness Book of World Records, including the greatest distance catching a grape in the mouth.
6. Charles F. Bolden — former astronaut and 12th Administrator of NASA — graduated from C. A. Johnson High School in 1964. Charles spent four missions in orbit on the space shuttle, and orbited the Earth 444 times, logging over 680 hours in space.
7. Fort Jackson, the 53,000-acre US Army Training Center in Columbia, is the largest and most active Entry Training Center into the US Army in the nation. It trains ~45,000 basic training Soldiers annually, making up almost 50% of the Army’s basic combat trainees and about 60% of all females entering the Army.
8. Riverbanks Zoo is one of only ten zoos in the US to have koalas on exhibit, and theirs is a permanent exhibit. To best care for the animals, the zoo even flies in eucalyptus from Florida. Learn more about the koalas at Riverbanks and their breeding program here.
9. Did you know that Congaree National Park, South Carolina’s only national park, has 20+ of the tallest known trees of their species? These “champion trees” literally rise above all others and help bring in a lot of visitors to the park.
10. Columbia was one of the first planned cities in the U.S. (And is believed to be in the number two spot, just behind Savannah, Georgia.) It was planned out as a two-mile square around the State House, with the city’s streets designed in a grid.
11. The Barringer Building (1338 Main St.), formerly known as the National Loan and Exchange Bank, was South Carolina’s first skyscraper. Constructed in 1903, the 12-story structure represents advances in building use of steel framework, high-pressure water pipes, and elevators.
12. 71. That’s how many movies have been filmed in Columbia, according to IMDB. Better-known pictures include “Death Sentence” starring Kevin Bacon and scenes filmed in Williams-Brice Stadium in “The Waterboy” and “The Program.”
13. Cola didn’t have any paved streets until 1908 when Main Street was paved. The city even tried wooden blocks before considering paving on Washington Street, only to find that the wooden blocks would float away in heavy rain. It took the city almost a decade to replace the blocks with asphalt on Washington Street in 1925.
14. Founded in 1844, the publishing firm of R. L. Bryan Company is Columbia’s oldest operating business. Now located at 301 Greystone Blvd., the company has been the textbook distributor for the state of South Carolina since 1901.
15. Assembly Street is 150 feet wide, which is about 50 feet wider than other streets around town. Why? In the 1700s, the decision on the width was based on the belief that mosquitoes were unable to travel more than 60 feet without dying from starvation to get across.
Your turn. Think you can get one over on us? Let us know your favorite local trivia tidbit and you just might make it into the newsletter.
Tickets for ‘Hamilton’ in Columbia set to go on sale. Here’s when and how to get them
It was announced in April that “Hamilton” would soon be taking the stage at the Koger Center in Columbia.But on Thursday, promoters said that single tickets for the 2024 performances of the smash-hit musical will go on sale beginning Nov. 2. Prior to this announcement, the only way to see “Hamilton,” or any of the other Broadway in Columbia performances, was to purchase season tickets.Beginning at 1...
It was announced in April that “Hamilton” would soon be taking the stage at the Koger Center in Columbia.
But on Thursday, promoters said that single tickets for the 2024 performances of the smash-hit musical will go on sale beginning Nov. 2. Prior to this announcement, the only way to see “Hamilton,” or any of the other Broadway in Columbia performances, was to purchase season tickets.
Beginning at 10 a.m., single tickets for “Hamilton” will be available online at kogercenterforthearts.com via phone by calling 803-251-2222, or in person at the Koger Center box office on Park Street in downtown Columbia.
The cost of the tickets will range from $49 to $129, promoters said in a news release. There also will be a select number of premium seats available from $139 for all performances, as well as a lottery for 40 $10 seats for all performances, according to the release.
There is a maximum purchase limit of eight tickets per account for the engagement, promoters said.
“Hamilton” is scheduled to run at the Koger Center from Feb. 27 through March 10, 2024.
“It’s tempting to get tickets any way you can. There are many sites and people who are selling overpriced, and in some cases, fraudulent tickets,” show producer Jeffrey Seller said in the release. “For the best seats, the best prices and to eliminate the risk of counterfeit tickets, all purchases for the Columbia engagement should be made through kogercenterforthearts.com.”
This will be “Hamilton’s” only performance in the Carolinas on the current North American tour.
Promoters described “Hamilton” as the story of America presented in the theatrical telling of founding father Alexander Hamilton. Based on Ron Chernow’s acclaimed biography, “Hamilton” is the brainchild of Lin-Manuel Miranda, who’s credited with the show’s book, music and lyrics.
The musical features a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway to create “a revolutionary moment in theatre — a musical that has a profound impact on culture, politics, and education,” according to the release.
It has won Tony, Grammy and Olivier awards, the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and an unprecedented special citation from the Kennedy Center Honors, according to the release.
A New York Times review of “Hamilton” called it a “theatrical landmark (that) has transformed theater and the way we think about history.”
This story was originally published October 26, 2023, 10:03 AM.
Two women charged with stealing thousands of COVID relief money in scam, SC cops say
Two Richland County residents were arrested for scamming the government out of thousands of dollars of COVID relief money, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said Tuesday.Both 43-year-old Irmo resident ...
Two Richland County residents were arrested for scamming the government out of thousands of dollars of COVID relief money, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said Tuesday.
Both 43-year-old Irmo resident Kadenia Mashea Javis and 49-year-old Columbia resident April Denise Harris were charged with obtaining property by false pretenses ($10,000 or more), SLED said in a news release.
The women falsely claimed to be out of work when they each applied for, and later accepted, unemployment benefits that totaled more than $10,000 apiece, arrest warrants show. The money came from Unemployment Insurance benefits and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits, according to the arrest warrants.
Information about exactly how much money each woman is accused of defrauding from the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce was not available.
There was no word what, if anything, Javis and Harris did with money.
SLED said both Javis and Harris claimed to have lost their jobs at Javis Tax Service as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Harris was a registered agent at the Two Notch Road business that was owned by Javis, who was also a registered agent, according to arrest warrants.
Between March 27, 2020, and Dec. 17, 2020, both Javis and Harris received the unemployment benefits, SLED said. Despite their claims, the business actually remained open during the pandemic, and the women earned money from Javis Tax Service while also receiving the unemployment funds from the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, according to the release.
Both Javis and Harris were arrested on Oct. 17, 2023, Richland County court records show. They were booked at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, SLED said.
Neither woman is currently listed on the Richland County jail’s inmate roster, as each posted $10,000 bonds on Oct. 18, according to court records. Both Javis and Harris are scheduled to appear in court again on Dec. 15, according to judicial records.
SLED said the women will be prosecuted by the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce.
In 2011, Javis was arrested for financial crimes in Richland County, but she was not indicted and the charges were dismissed, court records show.
This story was originally published October 25, 2023, 10:12 AM.
South Carolina Pride holding annual Pride Festival and Parade this weekend
SC pride is concluding Pride Week with their annual festival and parade in downtown Columbia.COLUMBIA, S.C. — Crews set the stage Friday for SC Pride events, which are among the largest in the state.Events kick off in the heart of downtown Columbia on Main Street.James Agens is the festival's director."It's a matter of everyone participating. All the LGBTQ+ people can not make this happen by themselves. It's a matter of connecting with t...
SC pride is concluding Pride Week with their annual festival and parade in downtown Columbia.
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Crews set the stage Friday for SC Pride events, which are among the largest in the state.
Events kick off in the heart of downtown Columbia on Main Street.
James Agens is the festival's director.
"It's a matter of everyone participating. All the LGBTQ+ people can not make this happen by themselves. It's a matter of connecting with the community. Columbia, Richland County, the state, everyone has to participate for it to be what it is," Agens said.
With the weekend's events featuring local vendors, live music, drag performances, and other activities, there is something for everyone Agens says.
"During the festival we try have a little bit more family-oriented activities going on," Agens explains. "We also work with a lot of the clinics to bring resources here for testing, whether it's for HIV, COVID-19, anything like that - it's all health related and we try to make sure everyone is represented throughout the community."
Representation of all sorts, including non-binary individuals and performers, is something South Carolina Pride insists on including.
Demi Happy-Returns is a "drag thing" who uses they/them pronoun and is performing in this year's festival. "I'm glad we have events like Pride so we can express ourselves and hopefully educate people, as well," she says.
Demi says she is overcome with feelings of freedom when performing while drag king, Jasmine Anderson, who goes by Richard Rider when in drag, says although drag queens are more prominent, drag kings are "popping up like weeds."
"There are a bunch of drag king performers and non-binary performers that are coming out of everywhere," Anderson said. "It's just nice to be able to see another side of drag or another facet of drag being recognized."
The Pride Parade kicked off at 7 p.m. Friday in downtown Columbia. The festival is slated to run from noon until 9 p.m. on Saturday.
New restaurant with focus on wild game cuisine to open in Columbia’s Vista
Hannah Wade [email protected]https://www.postandcourier.com/columbia/business/wild-game-restaurant-the-hollow-columbia-sc/article_1ce80f54-638f-11ee-ad75-1376f91fb06d.html
COLUMBIA — A new restaurant, which has a menu that focuses on wild game, is set to open in Columbia’s Vista at the beginning of 2024, the eatery’s owner confirmed to Free Times.The Hollow, located in the former Jason’s Deli space at 823 Gervais St., is a project nearly a decade in the making for Chris Fitz.“This has been like...
The Hollow, located in the former Jason’s Deli space at 823 Gervais St., is a project nearly a decade in the making for Chris Fitz.
“This has been like a baby of mine for 10 years, where I always wanted to open this concept and post-COVID, we were given the ability to start this project,” Fitz said.
The State Street Pub bartender has spent the last nine years serving faithful patrons of the bar just across the river in West Columbia. He’s bringing the restaurant’s concept to the Vista, as new locally owned restaurants and bars open in the area where in recent years a number of larger national chains have closed.
The Hollow’s menu will center around wild game. Meat from animals such as elk, rabbit and venison will line the menu, alongside fresh wild vegetables like carrots, mushrooms and onions. It’s what Fitz calls a “forest to table” concept.
“Everybody’s heard about farm to table (concepts) and things like that. What we’re looking to do is to incorporate that same mentality of using localized ingredients and things like that to expand beyond just meat,” Fitz said.
The meat itself will come from a variety of places across the country, Fitz said.
“This wild game is not coming from your neighbor who just got back from the woods,” Fitz said. “What we’ve learned is that although it’s a very strict process ... there are tons of avenues for us to get this exotic meat.”
The 5,900-square foot space will have enough seating for around 120 people in the main dining room and feature two bars — a large corner bar right next to the kitchen and a straight bar right at the door facing a giant window that overlooks Gervais street — that can sit around 15 people.
Aside from the unique cuisine option, which is one of the first of its kind planned for the capital city, Fitz plans to outfit the former Jason’s Deli space with distinctive decor. Behind the corner bar, a massive artificial tree will be built out with an overhead canopy enveloping most of the bar seating area.
The kitchen, which Fitz said will be led by a local executive chef whose name will be announced at a later date, will be behind a glass wall. The design allows for customers to see what’s happening in the kitchen as staff prepares food.
The Hollow joins a handful of locally owned businesses that’ve opened in recent months. Over the summer, The Dragon Room opened just a stone’s throw from the upcoming game restaurant. It came from prominent restaurateur Kristian Niemi, who owns Columbia’s Bourbon and West Columbia’s Black Rooster and its kitchen and bar are led by industry vets Alex Strickland and David Adedokun, respectively.
At the beginning of September, a new fresh market from a University of South Carolina professor and local farmer, Farmers Market Xchange opened on Lady Street. And in the former space of Uncle Louie’s, POPS opened on Park Street.
“A lot of what we’re trying to do is bring the small business vibe back to Columbia,” Fitz said.