How to Find the Best South Carolina Medicare Advantage Plans

The best Medicare Advantage plan in South Carolina is one that meets your needs in terms of features and coverage. We came up with a list of the top-rated plans in the state that offer a range of benefits and are widely available. We found that Aetna Medicare Premier Plan is the best PPO plan, and AARP Medicare Advantage Plan 1 is the best HMO plan in South Carolina.

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Last Updated: 9/23/2022
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Using the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ five-star quality rating system, we looked for the best Medicare Advantage plans that are widely accessible in South Carolina. MoneyGeek also analyzed the best plans based on several criteria, including plan types, whether you want to cap out-of-pocket costs, and whether drug coverage is needed.

However, these are only general recommendations, and you will still need to shop around for the best plan for your needs. For instance, you’ll want to check that the hospitals and providers you're interested in are covered under your chosen plan's network.

MoneyGeek also analyzed the best medicare supplement plans in South Carolina for those focused on covering out-of-pocket expenses.

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Best Medicare Advantage Plans in South Carolina

Best Medicare Advantage Plan in South Carolina - Overall

The best Medicare Advantage plan in South Carolina for you will depend on your preferences and requirements. MoneyGeek found that Aetna Medicare’s Premier Plan is the best plan in South Carolina if you’re looking for a PPO plan with the six core benefits, drug coverage and a high star rating from CMS.

Preferred Provider Organization plans are more expensive than HMO plans, but if you can afford them, you'll have access to a more extensive network and more flexibility. Also, no referral is needed if you want to see a specialist.

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Aetna Medicare

MoneyGeek determined that the best PPO policy in South Carolina overall is Aetna Medicare Premier Plan. Still, the ideal plan for you might vary depending on your particular needs.

CMS gives the Aetna Medicare Premier Plan a good rating, and the plan includes Part D drug coverage and worldwide emergency coverage.

Here’s what you can get with the Aetna Medicare Premier Plan:

  • No monthly premium
  • Includes drug coverage
  • An In-network max-out-of-pocket limit of $6,100
  • An overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 from CMS

All the six common additional benefits like vision, hearing, fitness, dental, telehealth and worldwide emergency coverage are included in the Aetna Medicare Premier Plan. It’s also highly rated by CMS, and it offers Part D drug coverage. The worldwide emergency benefit makes it a good option if you love traveling.

Best HMO Medicare Advantage Plan in South Carolina

To get the best Health Maintenance Organization Medicare Advantage Plan, you’ll want to consider your unique needs.

If you’re looking for an HMO plan in South Carolina that includes drug coverage and the six additional benefits, and has good rating from CMS, MoneyGeek found that the best plan is UnitedHealthcare’s AARP Medicare Advantage Plan 1.

Compared to other plan types, HMOs are generally cheaper. With an HMO, however, you will have to stay within your provider network if you want to be covered except during an emergency and you will need a referral to see a specialist.

However, if in-network providers are readily available to you, you can enjoy significantly lower monthly premiums with an HMO.

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AARP

We found that the best HMO plan in South Carolina is UnitedHealthcare’s AARP Medicare Advantage Plan. However, your specific needs will determine if it's the best policy for you.

Here are the features of this plan:

  • No monthly premium
  • Includes drug coverage
  • A $5,900 in-network max-out-of-pocket limit
  • Overall star rating of 4.5 out of 5 from CMS

AARP Medicare Advantage Plan 1 covers all the six common additional benefits, including telehealth, worldwide emergency, hearing, vision, dental and fitness. It also includes Part D drug coverage and is highly rated by CMS.

Best Medicare Advantage Plan in South Carolina Without Drug Coverage

You can look into other plans if you don’t need Part D coverage for prescription drugs.

MoneyGeek found that the Aetna Medicare’s Premier Plan (PPO) is the best plan in South Carolina if you want a Medicare Advantage Plan that may or may not include drug coverage, offers the six core benefits and has a good rating from CMS.

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Aetna Medicare

If you’re not particularly interested in drug coverage, the Aetna Medicare Premier Plan PPO might be your best option in South Carolina. This plan does include drug coverage.

The following features are included in the plan:

  • No monthly premium
  • An in-network max-out-of-pocket limit of $6,100
  • A rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars by CMS

All the six common additional benefits, like dental, fitness, hearing, vision, worldwide emergency and telehealth coverage are included in the Aetna Medicare Premier Plan. CMS also awarded it a good rating.

Best Medicare Advantage Plan in South Carolina for Low Max Out-of-Pocket Costs

Whether Medicare Advantage plans have low or no premiums, you may still be required to spend thousands of dollars out of pocket for your care.

MoneyGeek found that Aetna Medicare’s Aetna Medicare Premier Plan (PPO) is the best plan in South Carolina if you want low in-network max out-of-pocket costs, the six core benefits, drug coverage and a good rating from CMS.

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Aetna Medicare

MoneyGeek found that Aetna Medicare Premier Plan (PPO) is the best plan if you’re seeking a Medicare Advantage plan that may nor may not include drug coverage. We determined this by looking at which plans have low max-out-of-pocket limits. Drug coverage is included in this plan.

Here’s what you can expect from the Aetna Medicare Premier Plan (PPO) plan:

  • No monthly premium
  • A $6,100 In-network max-out-of-pocket limit
  • An overall star rating of 4.5 out of 5 from CMS

If you have an expensive year for healthcare, a reduced max-out-of-pocket limit could help protect your finances. With Aetna Medicare Premier Plan (PPO), you won't have to pay for in-network coverage after you've reached your max-out-of-pocket limit, which is $6,100.

When it comes to out-of-network coverage, a PPO plan will have a separate max-out-of-pocket limit, which is $11,300 for the Aetna Medicare Premier Plan (PPO).

Medicare Advantage Plan in South Carolina - Statistics

There are 12 healthcare providers in South Carolina offering Medicare Advantage plans. The following Medicare Advantage statistics in South Carolina might help you find out which plan features are more frequent than others.

1

South Carolina Medicare Advantage Plans are a mix of PPO/HMO/MSA/PFFS with 70.4% offering drug coverage

62% of Medicare Advantage Plans in South Carolina are Preferred Provider Organizations, 31.4% are HMOs, 5.5% are Medical Savings Account plans and only 0.7% are Private Fee-For-Service plans. Among these, 70.4% include Part D drug coverage.

2

66% of Medicare Advantage Plans in South Carolina have a $0 premium

60% of Medicare Advantage plans in South Carolina offer $0 premiums. The average cost of plans that have premiums is $38.40.

3

Hearing, Telehealth, Vision and Fitness benefits are common in South Carolina, with most plans offering them

Hearing, telehealth, vision and fitness are the most common benefits included in Medicare Advantage plans in South Carolina. Every plan includes hearing benefits, while 97% offer telehealth benefits and 91% of the plans include vision and fitness coverage. The rarest benefits included are in-home support, emergency response devices and transportation coverage.

Methodology

MoneyGeek collected data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 2022 MA Landscape Source Files released in October 2021. Plans in South Carolina were filtered down to those that offer drug coverage (unless otherwise noted), offer six of the most common Medicare Advantage coverage benefits and are available to at least 50% of the population of South Carolina based on county availability.

About the Author


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Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content manager with MoneyGeek specializing in insurance. Mark has years of experience analyzing the insurance market and creating original research and content. He graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts and Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Arts.