Medicare in South Carolina - Compare Plan Options

In South Carolina, the federal government provides a medical insurance program called Medicare for eligible individuals 65 years or older or with a qualifying disability. This program covers over 1.1 million people in South Carolina.

Compare Plans in South Carolina

Medicare Plans in South Carolina

South Carolina offers several Medicare plans, each offering different coverage levels depending on your medical requirements and lifestyle. If you suffer from multiple health conditions or a disability, Original Medicare may not cover all your expenses, resulting in higher out-of-pocket costs. For comprehensive care, Medicare Advantage could be a suitable alternative. If you’re looking for maximum coverage, a Medigap plan can help fill the gaps left by Medicare.

Here are the five types of Medicare plans in South Carolina:

Original Medicare (Parts A & B)

Original Medicare in South Carolina serves as the core of the Medicare program, encompassing Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). Part A is typically accessible without a premium for individuals who have worked and contributed to Medicare taxes for at least ten years. On the other hand, Part B requires a monthly premium based on income. Although Original Medicare covers a wide range of healthcare services, it does not include certain benefits, such as prescription drug coverage.

Medicare Advantage (Part C)

In South Carolina, private insurers offer Medicare Advantage (MA) plans approved by Medicare. These plans provide the same benefits as Original Medicare and may offer additional coverage for prescription drugs, vision, dental, and hearing. Moreover, MA plans generally have lower out-of-pocket costs compared to Original Medicare. South Carolina has a large selection of Medicare Advantage plans, so compare the options available and select the one that best suits your needs.

Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap)

Private insurers also offer Medigap plans in South Carolina to help bridge the coverage gaps left by Original Medicare. These plans help provide coverage for deductibles, co-payments, and coinsurance. There are ten standardized Medigap plans available, ranging from A to N. Among beneficiaries, Medigap Plan G stands as the most popular choice. The government guarantees uniform benefits for every plan across all insurance companies. Along with the premium for your Original Medicare, Medigap policies also have a monthly premium.

Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D)

Prescription drug coverage is not included in Original Medicare for residents of South Carolina. However, you can obtain this coverage by enrolling in a standalone Medicare prescription drug plan offered by approved private insurers. Each plan has a formulary, which is a list of drugs that are covered. It is essential to select a plan that includes the medications you require. Please note that formulary changes may occur on an annual basis.

Special Needs Plans (SNPs)

In South Carolina, there are Medicare Advantage plans called Special Needs Plans (SNPs) that cater specifically to individuals with certain chronic conditions or those needing specialized care, like those with Medicare and Medicaid. SNPs are available in three types: Chronic Condition SNPs, Dual Eligible SNPs, and Institutional SNPs. It is important to note that the availability of SNPs may vary by area in South Carolina, and not all individuals are eligible for SNP plans.

Medicare Eligibility in South Carolina

Medicare benefits in South Carolina are accessible to individuals aged 65 and above, as well as those with disabilities who are younger, along with people diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

Medicare eligibility in South Carolina is based on national standards set by the Social Security Administration (SSA). If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and have worked for at least ten years in jobs that require Medicare taxes, you are eligible for Medicare when you turn 65. However, you must have resided in the U.S. for a minimum of five consecutive years prior to initiating the application process for Medicare benefits.

Individuals younger than 65 may be eligible if they have received Social Security disability benefits for at least 24 months or have ESRD. Individuals with ESRD must also meet residency requirements to be eligible.

In addition to meeting specific eligibility requirements, applicants must apply for Medicare coverage before their 65th birthday or within three months after their disability begins to avoid late enrollment penalties. Applicants can use the Social Security website or visit a local office for assistance and advice.

With regard to cost, if you are not eligible for automatic qualification for Part A, you might have to pay as much as $506 per month (as of 2023). The Part B standard premium is $164.90 monthly (as of 2023), but your premium could be higher if you have a higher income.

How Do I Apply for Medicare in South Carolina?

Applying for Medicare in South Carolina is an easy process. You can apply online or by phone.

If you choose to apply online, you must visit the Social Security Administration website and complete an application. The website includes a helpful tutorial that walks you through the process step-by-step. Once your application has been submitted, completing the process typically takes less than 10 minutes.

If you prefer to apply over the phone, call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778).


As you can see, each plan type has unique features and benefits. Choosing the right Medicare plan in South Carolina can seem daunting at first, but don’t let that scare you off. Take some time to research, ask questions, and decide which plan best fits your specific healthcare needs and budget.

Article Sources:  Medicare Health Plans  |  Medigap Prescription Drug Coverage | Medicare Advantage

South Carolina Medicare Resources

It is recommended that South Carolina residents get to know the Medicare plans that are available to them. In South Carolina, different resources are accessible to seniors and caregivers to enhance their welfare. Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), nearby public health agencies, and nonprofit groups are available to provide important information and programs for seniors.

Mark Prip

Since 2003, Mark Prip has been leading  Policy Guide, Inc., providing knowledgeable information about Medicare, life insurance, and dental coverage to clients in over forty states. With his unparalleled hands-on experience aiding countless Medicare beneficiaries in selecting an appropriate health plan, he is a prime example amongst other competitors for expertise and assistance. Mark has held his Florida Health & Life Insurance License (E051889) since 2003. View his license profile on the Florida Department of Insurance website.