South Carolina Medicare plans are available to citizens that are 65 years of age or older. It is also offered to younger people/working people with disabilities.
South Carolina Medicare Insurance Trends
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported the following information on 2024 Medicare trends in South Carolina:
- There are roughly 1,183,019 residents of South Carolina who are enrolled in Medicare.
- The average Medicare Advantage monthly premium decreased from $12.28 in 2023 to $14.42 in 2024.
- In South Carolina, there are currently 97 Medicare Advantage plans available.
- All South Carolina residents with Medicare can buy a Medicare Advantage plan, including those with $0 premiums.
- There are currently 22 different Medicare prescription drug plans offered in South Carolina.
- The lowest monthly premium for a Medicare prescription drug plan is $0.50.
Medicare Offered in South Carolina
Original Medicare offers basic health insurance coverage for South Carolina residents. It is made up of Part A, which covers some inpatient care costs for hospital stays, costs associated with stays in a skilled nursing facility or hospice, and some home health services. Part B covers a portion of the costs for medically necessary services needed to diagnose or treat a medical condition, and preventive services.
Original Medicare does not cover prescription drugs, dental, vision, or hearing care. Original Medicare is administered by the federal government to U.S. residents over the age of 65, while supplemental Medicare plans to cover things that are not covered by Part A and Part B can be purchased from private insurance providers.
Medicare Advantage Plans, also known as Medicare Part C, are a comprehensive plan containing Original Medicare and additional benefits such as prescription drug coverage, healthcare services (such as dental, vision, and hearing), and wellness services. The additional coverage will depend on the details of each specific plan. In South Carolina, Medicare Advantage Plans may be purchased from private carriers such as:
- Cigna – 4.5/5 stars
- Aetna Medicare – 4.5/5 stars
- United Healthcare – 4/5 stars
- WellCare – 4/5 stars
- Clover Health – 3.5/5 stars
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina – 3.5/5 stars
- Molina Healthcare of South Carolina – 3/5 stars
- Lasso Healthcare – 2/5 stars
Medicare Supplement Plans
Those who wish for additional coverage beyond Original Medicare may obtain Medicare supplemental plans from Medicare-approved carriers in South Carolina. These will require an additional premium. All of the plan categories are standardized under Medigap, meaning all lettered plans have the same benefits regardless of the insurer. Federal rules do not guarantee access to a Medigap plan if you’re under 65 and eligible for Medicare as a result of a disability.
Some of the companies offering Medigap plans throughout South Carolina include:
- AARP – UnitedHealthcare
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina
- Colonial Penn
- Garden State
- State Farm
South Carolina Medicare Enrollment
South Carolina residents are eligible for Medicare if they are a U.S. citizen and above 65 years old or are under 65 but are permanently disabled, have end-stage renal disease, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Use Medicare’s online eligibility tool if you are unsure if you qualify.
- You are 65 or older, and you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 40 quarters.
- You are under age 65 and collect benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board for at least 24 consecutive months.
- You have ESRD or ALS.
Enrollment Period Dates
Initial Enrollment Period
This is a seven-month window that allows you to sign up for a plan
- Begins 3 months before the month you turn 65
- Ends 3 months after the month you turn 65
Medicare Open Enrollment Period
This is when you can sign up for a plan, switch a plan or leave a plan
- Begins Starts October 15th
- Ends December 7th
Special Enrollment Period
Special enrollment periods allow you to enroll outside the regular enrollment periods under specific circumstances.
General Enrollment Period
This is when you can sign up for Medicare Part A and/or Part B if you didn’t sign up when first eligible or if you’re not qualified for a Special Enrollment Period.
- Starts January 1st
- Ends March 31st
Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period
This is when you can switch or leave a Medicare Advantage Plan
- Starts October 15th
- Ends December 7th
South Carolina Enrollment Tips & Advice
- Be aware of when you are eligible for enrollment in Medicare
- Consider your specific medical needs when shopping for a Medigap plan, such as vision, hearing, or dental needs
- Understand your coverage: Original Medicare may not be sufficient for your health and medical needs
Here are some great additional resources:
How Do I Enroll in a Medicare Plan?
If you have any questions about South Carolina Medicare, speak to one of our licensed agents today. Our agents will discuss your Medicare options and help find a plan that works for you.