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What Are Medicare Supplement Plans in South Carolina?

Updated on: July 1st, 2021

We aim to help you make informed healthcare decisions. While this post may contain links to lead generation forms, this won’t influence our writing. We follow strict editorial standards to give you the most accurate and unbiased information.

Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) can cover many of your healthcare expenses, but it doesn’t cover everything. You’ll still be responsible for out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and copayments, and those expenses can add up. 

A Medigap policy, also called a Medicare Supplement plan, from a private insurer provides additional coverage that can reduce or eliminate the costs not covered by Original Medicare. 

What You Need to Know

Medicare Supplement plans can help cover healthcare costs not covered by Original Medicare. 

To qualify for a Medicare Supplement plan, you’ll need to be enrolled in Medicare Part A and B. 

In South Carolina, you can choose from 12 Medigap policies, including two high-deductible options. 

When Can You Enroll in Medigap? 

It’s easiest to enroll in a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan in South Carolina during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period (OEP).1 The OEP is a six-month period that automatically begins the month you turn 65 and are enrolled in Medicare Part B. During your OEP, you can buy any Medicare Supplement plan without being rejected or charged more because of a preexisting condition like COPD. You can also make changes to your plan during this period. 

Outside of your OEP, it’s more difficult to enroll in Medigap. An insurance company can charge you more or deny you coverage because of a preexisting condition. A provider might also require a six-month waiting period before your coverage takes effect.

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In certain situations, you can more easily enroll in a Medigap plan outside of your OEP. You can qualify for a guaranteed issue right if your current healthcare coverage changes, for instance, if your current plan leaves Medicare.2 If you have a guaranteed issue right, an insurance provider must sell you a Medigap policy without charging a higher premium or consider medical underwriting. 

There are other situations, like moving or losing your current coverage, that qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period.3 During your Special Enrollment Period, you’ll be able to make some changes to your policy. Those specific changes depending on the type of qualifying event you experienced. 

Anyone considering Medigap policy should not they do not offer prescription drug coverage. So if you need coverage, consider purchasing a separate Medicare Part D plan. 

When to Enroll

The best time to sign up for a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period.

In South Carolina, you can choose from 12 Medigap policies, including two high-deductible plans.4 Each letter plan is the same across different insurers. The plans differ in coverage, premiums, copayments, and deductibles. You should carefully review each plan to understand what’s included and whether that plan is right for you. 

Plans F, G, and N are some of the most popular policies. Note: Plan F isn’t available if you qualified for Medicare after January 1, 2020.

Medicare Supplement Plan F

Plan F offers the most comprehensive coverage, but also carries the highest monthly premium. It includes: 

  • Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
  • Part B copays/coinsurance
  • Blood (first 3 pints)
  • Part A hospice
  • Skilled nursing facility
  • Part A deductible
  • Part B deductible
  • Part B excess charges
  • Foreign travel emergency – 80%

Medicare Supplement Plan G

Plan G offers coverage similar to Plan F, but excludes the Medicare Part B deductible: 

  • Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
  • Part B coinsurance/copay
  • Blood (first 3 pints)
  • Part A hospice
  • Skilled nursing facility
  • Part A deductible
  • Part B excess charges
  • Foreign travel emergency – 80% 

Medicare Supplement Plan N

Plan N doesn’t cover the Medicare Part B deductible or Part B excess charges, but it has lower premiums than Plans F or G:

  • Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
  • Part B copays/coinsurance
  • Blood (first 3 pints)
  • Part A hospice
  • Skilled nursing facility
  • Part A deductible
  • Foreign travel emergency – 80%

How Do You Choose a Medicare Supplement Plan?

You’ll get the best value out of a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan in South Carolina if you choose a plan that covers the types of healthcare expenses you have most often. When shopping for a plan, look for one that combines the coverage you want with a premium you can afford. You might find that a plan with a higher premium is the right choice for you because it can lead to larger savings on your most common healthcare costs. 

How Much Do Medigap Policies Cost? 

Medigap policies offer different levels of coverage, and their costs, copayments, and deductibles vary, too. The following examples show premiums for a 65-year-old female in South Carolina who doesn’t use tobacco: 

  • Plan F: $108-$340
  • Plan F High-Deductible: $26-$64
  • Plan G: $87-$325
  • Plan G High-Deductible: $26-$64
  • Plan N: $65-$2725

What If You Want to Change Your Medigap Policy? 

It’s difficult to change your Medicare Supplement plan in South Carolina outside of your Open Enrollment Period unless you have a guaranteed issue right or a Special Enrollment Period. This means it’s important to thoroughly research any Medigap policy you’re considering during your Open Enrollment Period. Choosing the plan that’s right for you means you won’t have to worry about changing it later on.

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Considering a Medicare Plan?

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When to Change

You can make changes to your Medigap policy only in certain situations.

What Are Alternatives to Medicare Supplement? 

Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Medicare Part C, are another option for additional insurance coverage.6 They offer the same coverage as Original Medicare, but they’re sold by insurance carriers and set a limit on your yearly out-of-pocket expenses. Many plans include prescription drug coverage, which Medigap policies don’t offer. Most Medicare Advantage plans limit coverage to in-network providers.

What Are Medicare Resources in South Carolina?

  • South Carolina’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) offers free counseling and assistance to Medicare beneficiaries. Counselors can answer your Medicare questions and help you to explore enrollment and plan options.7 
  • If you need to file a complaint about your Medicare plan, the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) can help. SMP volunteers also help you to report Medicare fraud, errors, and abuse.8 
  • The South Carolina Department of Insurance can help you find available insurance programs. You can also file an insurance-related consumer complaint.9 
  • Healthy Connections, South Carolina’s Medicaid program, offers healthcare assistance to low-income seniors and those with disabilities. You can get information on available plans and apply online.10 

Next Steps

If you’re interested in a Medicare Supplement plan in South Carolina, make sure you research each plan’s coverage and costs. Pick a plan that covers your healthcare costs at the right price before you sign up. 



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  1. U.S. Government Website for Medicare. “When Can I Buy Medigap?” medicare.gov (accessed February 7, 2021).

  2. U.S. Government Website for Medicare. “Guaranteed Issue Rights.” medicare.gov (accessed February 7, 2021).

  3. U.S. Government Website for Medicare. “Special circumstances (Special Enrollment Periods).” medicare.gov (accessed February 7, 2021).

  4. U.S. Government Website for Medicare. “Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plans in South Carolina.” medicare.gov (accessed February 7, 2021).

  5. Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plans in South Carolina.”

  6. U.S. Government Website for Medicare. “Medicare Advantage Plans.” medicare.gov (accessed February 7, 2021).

  7. South Carolina Department on Aging. “Medicare and Medicare Fraud.” aging.sc.gov (accessed February 7, 2021).

  8. Medicare and Medicare Fraud.”

  9. South Carolina Department of Insurance. “SCDOI.” doi.sc.gov (accessed February 7, 2021).

  10. South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. “South Carolina Healthy Connections Medicaid.” scdhhs.gov (accessed February 7, 2021).