Medicare Supplement: What Is Plan G?

August 15, 2023

If you’re newly eligible for Medicare, you may find yourself struggling to wade through the alphabet soup of plan options.

First, there’s Medicare Part A and Part B — also known as Original Medicare. These government health plans provide coverage for health-related expenses like hospital care, doctor visits, medical procedures and equipment. Like a traditional health insurance policy, Medicare pays its share of the Medicare-approved amount, and you’re responsible for a portion. That typically includes out-of-pocket expenses such as copayments, coinsurance and deductibles.

But for many seniors – especially those on a fixed income – the risk of having unforeseen health care costs in retirement can be stressful. Medicare Supplement plans are designed to help offset those out-of-pocket costs.

What is Medicare Supplement Insurance?

Sometimes called “Medigap,” a Medicare Supplement plan is a private insurance policy that helps you pay for some of the cost  Medicare doesn’t cover. You can apply for a policy when you sign up for Medicare Parts A and B.

In addition to helping you cover unexpected expenses, Medicare Supplement plans offer some additional benefits, including the ability to choose any doctor or hospital that accepts Original Medicare.

Available plans will vary depending on the state you live in. All these plan options and their corresponding coverages can take some time to research. But if you want the most comprehensive coverage available, look no further than Plan G.

What is Plan G?

Medicare Parts A and B provide insurance coverage for health-related expenses, but they don’t cover all of the health care costs you may have. While all Medicare Supplement plans help offset those costs to some degree, Plan G offers the most comprehensive coverage available for those becoming newly eligible to Medicare.

What does Plan G cover?

If you choose Medicare Supplement Plan G from Erie Family Life Insurance Company,1 you won’t incur any out-of-pocket costs for expenses such as:

  • Part A deductible
  • Part A hospital copayments
  • Part B copayments
  • Part B excess physician charges (when a provider charges more than the Medicare-approved amount)
  • Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
  • Blood transfusions
  • Foreign emergency care

How does Plan G work?

Plan G allows you to choose any physician for your care, including specialists, while eliminating many out-of-pocket expenses associated with that care. Instead of paying copays and deductibles, you’ll pay a monthly premium for your Medicare Supplement plan.

What isn’t covered by Plan G?

While Plan G provides the most coverage of any Medicare Supplement plan, there are still some things that are not covered by any new Medigap plan. That includes:

  • Medicare Part B deductible: Since the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) went into effect in 2020, newly purchased Medigap plans may no longer cover the Part B deductible.
  • Prescription drugs: Medicare Supplement plans aren’t allowed to include prescription drug coverage. However, prescription drug coverage can be purchased separately through a Medicare Part D drug plan.
  • Long-term care or private nursing: Medigap plans do not pay for long-term care, which is defined as the type of non-skilled care you’d receive in a nursing home, or private-duty nursing. If you’re looking for financial protection against the rising costs of long-term care, ask your agent about a Long-Term Care (LTC) Accelerated Death Benefit Rider from Erie Family Life. This coverage can be easily added to a Universal Life or Whole Life policy, allowing you to cover long-term medical expenses by subtracting payments from the amount that will be paid to beneficiaries after your death.1
  • Dental and vision care: You’ll need to purchase a separate insurance plan for vision or dental coverage if you’d like those services to be covered.

Is Plan G worth it?

As with any insurance policy, the answer to whether the cost is “worth it” will largely depend on your personal financial situation.

But health care and out-of-pocket expenses for Medicare participants are on the rise. If you’re concerned about your ability to pay unforeseen health care costs, you’ll probably find that the peace of mind a Medicare Supplement plan can provide is worth the cost.

And if you’re already an ERIE customer, you may be eligible to get lower premiums with discounts, including:

  • Household discount: Available if someone aged 18 and older lives in your home with you. The availability and amount of this discount varies from state to state. Ask your agent for details.
  • Multi-policy discount: Available when the Medicare Supplement plan covers an ERIE auto, home or life policyholder. Not available in all states.

Am I eligible for Plan G?

You can apply for a Medicare Supplement plan policy if you are age 65 or over and enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. If you apply during the one-time Open Enrollment period, which begins on the first day of the month when an individual is 65, or older, and enrolled in Part B, you are guaranteed the issue of a policy. In some states, Medicare Supplement insurance policies are available to people with disabilities who are under the age 65.

How do I sign up for Plan G?

To enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan, ´╗┐contact McDaniel Insurance, who can:

  • Review the advantages of securing a Medicare Supplement policy from ERIE.
  • Help you determine which plan and pricing best meet your needs and budget.
  • Complete the simple application process with you.

Erie Family Life has been providing life insurance and annuity products since 1967. Every policy from Erie Insurance or Erie Family Life comes with two very important, unique features: our promise of service and your own local, knowledgeable agent.  Contact McDaniel Insurance Agency at 502.909.0920.