Medicare Plan E is a former Medicare supplement insurance (Medigap) plan that has not been available to new enrollees since 2010. However, if a person already has it, they may keep it.

Original Medicare pays for most, but not all healthcare costs. Medigap plans help cover some of the remaining costs that a person may otherwise have to pay for out of pocket.

Medigap Plan E was available until 2010. Since then, those new to Medicare are unable to enroll in Plan E.

If a person enrolled in Plan E before 2010, they may keep it, but there may now be less costly options.

This article will look at what Plan E covers, why Medicare discontinued the plan, alternative options, and more.

We may use a few terms in this piece that can be helpful to understand when selecting the best insurance plan:

  • Deductible: This is an annual amount that a person must spend out of pocket within a certain time period before an insurer starts to fund their treatments.
  • Coinsurance: This is a percentage of a treatment cost that a person will need to self-fund. For Medicare Part B, this comes to 20%.
  • Copayment: This is a fixed dollar amount that an insured person pays when receiving certain treatments. For Medicare, this usually applies to prescription drugs.

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A person may choose a Medigap plan to help with costs that original Medicare does not cover.

Medigap plans are administered by private health companies that are approved by Medicare. The plans help to pay any coverage gaps left by original Medicare, including:

  • copayments
  • coinsurance
  • deductibles
  • excess charges

Medigap plans do not help with Medicare premium costs.

Different Medigap plans have different benefits and levels of coverage. Covered expenses may include:

  • deductibles for a hospital stay
  • coinsurance for a skilled nursing facility (SNF)
  • emergency health care provided outside of the United States
  • at-home recovery
  • some preventive care
  • excess charges

Medigap policies sold today have different benefits to those sold before June 1, 2010.

If a Medigap plan is no longer available, a person can keep it, and the private insurance company who administers the policy is required to renew it.

If a person purchased a Medigap plan between July 31, 1992, and May 31, 2010, a Medigap Plan Benefits Chart can be downloaded. The chart gives an overview of the coverage for all plans.

Plan E has benefits including:

  • Part A copayment
  • Part B coinsurance
  • the first 3 pints of blood a person may need
  • Part A deductible
  • SNF daily copayment
  • 80% of emergency care costs outside of U.S.
  • up to $120 per year for extra preventive care that is not covered by original Medicare

Plan E discontinuation

As of June 1, 2010, private insurance companies offering Medicare supplement insurance can no longer sell Plan E policies.

Before 2003, Medicare did not cover certain types of durable medical equipment (DME) and some home healthcare services. At the time, Medigap Plan E covered a portion of these services and equipment for plan members.

In 2003, Congress passed the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act, and this saw an increase in original Medicare coverage. Added benefits included at-home recovery and new preventive care options.

The passing of this act made the benefits offered by Medigap Plan E redundant, which meant insurers could no longer offer the plans.

Many current Medigap plans offer greater benefits and may be more cost-effective for an individual.

Plan E has no new enrollees, and because of this, it has fewer beneficiaries.

Current Plan E costs may vary depending on the insurance provider. However, fewer beneficiaries and a higher claim spend may mean a person could pay a higher monthly premium compared to other Medigap plans.

Most current Medigap plans offer similar coverage to Plan E, and a person may receive extra benefits. Switching to another policy could be more cost-effective.

For advice, an individual may wish to talk to an insurance company that provides Medicare supplement insurance, or the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).

Plans D and G

Medigap Plan D and Plan G are popular alternatives to Plan E.

Medigap Plan D covers:

  • Part A coinsurance
  • Part B coinsurance or copayment
  • the first 3 pints of blood
  • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
  • SNF care coinsurance
  • Part A deductible
  • 80% of foreign travel emergency care (up to plan limits)

Medigap Plan G covers:

  • Part A coinsurance
  • Part B coinsurance or copayment
  • the first 3 pints of blood
  • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
  • SNF care coinsurance
  • Part A deductible
  • 80% of foreign travel emergency care (up to plan limits)
  • Part B healthcare provider excess charges

Plan G is offered as a high deductible plan in some states.

If a person is considering switching to another Medicare supplement plan, they can search and compare plans using Medicare’s Find a Medicare plan tool.

As of 2010, Medicare Plan E became unavailable to new enrollees, but a person who already has Plan E can keep it.

Benefits that were only available in Plan E are now available under original Medicare, which led to the policy withdrawal.

Medigap plans D and G are popular alternatives to Plan E as they offer similar coverage.

A person can compare all available Medigap plans online, but the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) may be able to offer further advice.

The information on this website may assist you in making personal decisions about insurance, but it is not intended to provide advice regarding the purchase or use of any insurance or insurance products. Healthline Media does not transact the business of insurance in any manner and is not licensed as an insurance company or producer in any U.S. jurisdiction. Healthline Media does not recommend or endorse any third parties that may transact the business of insurance.