South Carolina has a growing reputation as a haven for retirees. For those who live in the state, or are contemplating relocating there, it’s a good idea to form a plan for enrolling in Medicare as part of your retirement strategy. To help you do this, we put together this short guide to the South Carolina Medicare eligibility requirements.
The basis for your health insurance at or near retirement will be Original Medicare. This refers to the health insurance benefits provided through the federal government. These benefits are offered through Part A and Part B. Medicare was designed to help provide affordable health insurance and health care to older Americans in retirement.
Despite this fact, there are three ways that you can get Medicare coverage before you turn 65, the standard entry age. You’ll have this opportunity if you:
If you gain entry into Medicare because of these conditions, your entry will be automatic.
Most people, though, don’t get the chance to enter Medicare until they approach their 65th birthday. For those who get their chance at age 65, some will enter automatically and others will have to enroll manually. Entry will be automatic for those people who have already chosen to receive Social Security retirement income. People who delay taking Social Security past age 65 will need to sign up on their own.
If you have to sign up manually, you will be given a seven month enrollment period during which you can enroll. The window opens three months before your birth month and ends on the last day of the third month after the month you turn 65.
You should know that you’re not necessarily required to enroll just because you turn 65. You may choose to delay your Part B coverage if you plan to keep working and you’ll be covered by your employer’s plan. If you do this, you will have the chance to get Part B when you stop working or otherwise lose your employer coverage.
Your entry into Medicare is the first step toward solidifying your health insurance through Medicare. Most people go one step further by choosing one of the private Medicare Insurance plans available. These plans are designed to help you spend less money out of pocket than you would normally be required to under Original Medicare.
There are three kinds of private Medicare coverage: Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement Insurance, and Part D Prescription Drug Plans. Only Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement Insurance plans provide medical coverage. Each of these kinds of plans has different eligibility rules.
Medicare Advantage plans, which are also called Part C plans, require you to be actively enrolled in both Parts A and B of Original Medicare. There are no age restrictions, however.
Part D drug plans only require you to be enrolled in Part A or Part B. You don’t have to be active in both, and there are also no age restrictions for drug coverage.
That’s not the case for Medicare Supplement Insurance in South Carolina. In South Carolina, you’ll probably have to be 65 or older to get Medicare Supplement Insurance. If you live in South Carolina, you’ll likely have to wait until you turn 65 in order to get Medicare Supplement Insurance if you meet the eligibility requirements before turning 65.
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Participating sales agencies do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1–800–MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.
Participating sales agencies represent Medicare Advantage [HMO, PPO, PFFS, and PDP]organizations that are contracted with Medicare. Enrollment depends on the plan’s contract renewal.
Enrollment in the described plan type may be limited to certain times of the year unless you qualify for a special enrollment period.