Medicare Advantage: Helping Keep Charleston Healthy

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By: Heather Bumgardner, NP, Clover Health

Charleston, Chucktown, the Holy City, so many names for this special town of ours, it’s no wonder we are America’s favorite destination. With sunsets over the Cooper River, quick jaunts to Folly Beach, healthy afternoons biking along the Ravenel Bridge, and indulgent afternoons with a peanut butter burger at Poe’s Tavern—there’s love for Charleston at all ages. We know the decision to live, and retire, here is easy, but not all decisions seniors face are so simple—finding a healthcare plan among them.

While South Carolina ranks in the bottom quarter of all states for health outcomes for ages 65+, Medicare Advantage plans are disrupting this status quo. By providing more comprehensive care than traditional Medicare, these plans are charting a promising new path for delivering quality care, creating healthier outcomes in Charleston, and throughout South Carolina.

Here is what makes Medicare Advantage different from traditional Medicare and why it can have such a profound impact on healthcare—it’s about being cared for before you get sick. Studies?show seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans have one-third fewer emergency room visits and almost a quarter fewer hospital stays than those enrolled in traditional Medicare. With Medicare Advantage, there is a focus on preventative, total care, which is what seniors need most.

As a nurse practitioner who cares for seniors throughout the Southeastern Coast, I know that Medicare Advantage is without question the best health plan for Charleston’s seniors.

During one of my recent home visits to a member, a kind gentleman in his early eighties, I noted that his heart rate was alarmingly low. I knew it was a dire situation that required a doctor immediately, so I called the paramedics and after they rushed him to the hospital for evaluation, a pacemaker was implanted.

During his recovery, he called me to express his gratitude for the actions that ended up saving his life – truly his thanks is to his Medicare Advantage plan. Without it, I wouldn’t have been there for a routine well visit.

With Medicare open enrollment—the time of year when you can make changes to your Medicare coverage—coming to a close December 7, I hope to call your attention to all the health benefits you should and could be receiving from your provider. This week, consider Medicare Advantage, which I truly believe is the best option for seniors.

Let’s get South Carolina – and our beautiful Charleston – back on track with better health outcomes so that our seniors can take advantage of all that our city has to offer, for many years to come. Spread the word to your family and friends: Medicare Advantage is the plan that provides the care our beloved seniors need, when they need it most. I hope you’ll help us get more people signed up.