• Plan E is a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan that has not been available to new Medicare subscribers since 2009.
  • Unless you had Plan E BEFORE January 1, 2010, you may not purchase it, but if you have Plan E, you can keep it.
  • Since so few people have Plan E, it may be more expensive than other similar Medigap plans.
  • Medigap plans D and G offer similar coverage as Plan E.

Medicare is a government health insurance option for individuals aged 65 and older, as well as those with certain chronic conditions. Medicare itself is made up of different “parts” – A, B, C, or D – and can be supplemented with different “plans” that offer additional coverage.

Medigap Plan E, also known as Medicare Supplement Plan E, is an original Medicare add-on that helps cover your Medicare costs. Medicare Plan E was no longer offered to new Medicare beneficiaries as of 2010, but those who were previously enrolled are still able to keep their plan in 2020.

In this article, we’ll discuss what Medigap Plan E is, what is covers, and what to do if you are already enrolled in this plan going into 2020.

There are 8 Medigap plans that are currently offered in the marketplace: A, B, D, G, K, L, M, and N. Medicare Supplement Plan E is a previously offered Medigap plan that covered some Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B costs, blood transfusions, preventative care, and foreign travel.

In 2003, the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act was enacted. This legislation made some big changes to original Medicare and Medigap plan offerings. Through this legislation, Medicare + Choice, the Medicare managed care program, became what we now know as Medicare Advantage. Medicare Part D, the prescription drug benefit program, also became available for all beneficiaries through private plans.

In 2008, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act was enacted. This legislation made multiple improvements to Medicare, including some that greatly impacted Medigap offerings. Through this legislation, Medigap plans E, H, I, and J were all eliminated due to the Medicare changes.

As of June 1, 2010, no new Medicare enrollees were eligible to enroll in Medigap Plan E. However, anyone who was enrolled in Medigap Plan E before it was discontinued in 2010 may be eligible to keep their plan and their plan benefits.

Medigap Plan E covers the following Medicare costs:

  • Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
  • Part A nursing facility care coinsurance
  • Part A deductible
  • Part B coinsurance or copayments
  • Blood transfusions (up to 3 pints)
  • Preventative care benefit (no longer included in newer plans)
  • Foreign travel costs

Medigap Plan E does not cover these Medicare costs:

  • Part B deductible
  • Part B excess charges

Since all Medigap plans are standardized, any insurance companies that still have beneficiaries enrolled in Medigap Plan E must continue to offer the original plan coverage.

Since Medicare Supplement Plan E is no longer for sale, it’s difficult to say exactly how much a company might charge for the plan. However, past research of annual Medigap price changes found that Plan E experienced a 53 percent increase in premium price from 1997-2000. In 2000, the premium for Medigap Plan E was roughly $1,300-$1,400 per year.

Given that there have been no new enrollees in this Medigap plan since 2010, it has a smaller pool of beneficiaries, and that means you may be paying a higher premium than for other Medigap plans. Therefore, if you are enrolled in Medigap Plan E, you may pay less if you switch to a different coverage option with more enrollees.

Medicare Supplement Plan E is no longer open for enrollment as of 2010. However, if you were enrolled in Medigap Plan E before the cutoff date, you can keep your plan and the benefits in 2020.

After almost a decade of Medicare reforms, Medigap Plan E was discontinued after it became redundant and unnecessary. This means that if you are still enrolled in this Medicare Supplement plan, you may get better coverage if you switch to a current Medigap plan instead.

Here are other Medigap plan options with similar coverage as Plan E:

Medigap Plan D

Medicare Supplement Plan D covers the following Medicare costs:

  • Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
  • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayments
  • Part A nursing facility care coinsurance
  • Part A deductible
  • Part B coinsurance or copayments
  • Blood transfusions (up to 3 pints)
  • 80 percent of foreign travel costs

This coverage is very similar to what Medigap Plan E offered however it also includes hospice care costs.

Medigap Plan G

Medicare Supplement Plan G is a step up from both Medigap Plans D and E. This plan covers the following costs:

  • Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
  • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayments
  • Part A nursing facility care coinsurance
  • Part A deductible
  • Part B coinsurance or copayments
  • Part B excess charges
  • Blood transfusions (up to 3 pints)
  • 80 percent of foreign travel costs

The coverage for Medigap Plan G is the same as for Plan D except for that it also covers the Medicare Part B excess charges.

Medicare Advantage

If you’d prefer to switch from original Medicare altogether, a Medicare Advantage plan is another option. Advantage plans cover all your original Medicare parts, and many also include prescription drug, dental, vision, and hearing coverage as well.

If you would like to compare more of the current Medigap and Medicare Advantage offerings, Medicare.gov’s Find a Medicare plan tool can help. You can use this website to search for and compare plans and policies in your area.

New legislation can lead to changes within Medigap plan offerings and enrollment, as was the case with Medigap Plan E in 2003 and 2010.

2020 changes for medigap plans

Starting January 1, 2020, there are changes you should know regarding Medicare Supplement Plans.

  • Medicare Part B deductible. Any Medigap plans sold to beneficiaries that enroll in 2020 will no longer be allowed to cover the Part B deductible.
  • Medigap Plans C and F. These plans will no longer be available for enrollment to new Medicare beneficiaries. If you already have Medigap Plan C or Medigap Plan F, you may keep the plan and the benefits.

Generally, if you are already enrolled in a discontinued Medigap plan, you can choose to either keep that plan or enroll in a different plan instead. Considering your own medical and financial needs can help you decide which option is best for you.

  • Medicare Supplement Plan E is a former Medigap plan was that taken off the market in 2010.
  • Medigap Plan E helps cover your basic Medicare expenses, including some Part A and Part B costs, blood transfusions, and foreign travel.
  • Medigap Plan E is no longer available to new Medicare beneficiaries but if you already have the plan, you can continue to use the benefits available to you.
  • If you’re interested in switching to another Medicare Supplement Plan, you can search for plans in your area by clicking here.

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.

Healthline