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Published on September 16, 2020

glasses and pen on top of supplemental insurance application

What Is Medicare Supplement?

Medicare coverage can seem complicated, at least until you get the hang of it.

Medicare parts A, B and D cover things like clinic visits, hospital stays and prescription drugs, but there are still out-of-pocket costs and no out-of-pocket maximum.

That’s why many people consider a Medicare Supplement plan. These plans help cover things like co-pays, coinsurance and deductibles. It’s a great way to budget for unexpected medical expenses on a post-retirement budget.

Here are some common questions about Medicare Supplement, answered by Avera Health Plans experts.

What is Plan G vs. Plan F?

Plan F is one of the most comprehensive Medicare Supplement options but is only available if you turned 65 before Jan. 1, 2020. Plan G is second in popularity to Plan F. The big difference is its Part B deductible for outpatient services. It still covers Part A hospital deductible. For most people, the savings from the lower premium would cover the deductible.

How much does Plan G cost?

Medicare Supplement plans are the same no matter what company you get the policy from. However, the cost will vary. Be sure to compare prices for plans but also consider other added values. For example, Avera Health Plans Plan G offers access to a fitness center incentive and 24/7 virtual visits. You also have added savings options with our Select Plan G plans:

  • Plan G High Deductible Health Plan: These plans have a higher deductible but the monthly premium is lower.
  • Household Discount*: You get a 12% discount when you get a Plan G and have someone 60+ living in your household.

What’s covered with Plan G?

Plan G covers both inpatient and outpatient services, though it does have a deductible for Part B. Coverage includes provider visits, lab work, durable medical equipment, surgeries, X-rays, and diabetes supplies.

Am I covered when I travel?

Travel within the United States is covered. However, foreign travel coverage is not as expansive. Medicare does not cover any foreign travel, but some Medicare Supplement plans offer coverage with a deductible and coinsurance. But the lifetime coverage limit is $50,000. We recommend people get travel insurance through their travel agent for this kind of coverage because $50,000 may not go very far.

How do I sign up for Medicare and Medicare Supplement?

You must enroll in Medicare at the Social Security office, and there are certain time limits based on when you’re enrolling. If you plan to enroll when you turn 65, you can enroll starting three months before your birthday month until three months after your birthday month. Medicare Supplement plans are available through private health insurance companies.

What if I need help?

An insurance agent can walk you through the process so you meet all the deadlines and requirements of signing up for Medicare and getting a supplement plan in place as well. Agents will also help you find a Medicare Supplement plan that fits your budget. 

If you want to talk with someone about your Medicare Supplement needs, Avera Health Plans agents are located across the state and ready to answer your questions. Go to to find an agent near you.

* You may be eligible for a Select Plan G policy with a lower premium rate if you currently reside with an individual with whom you have continuously resided for the last 12 months and who is age 60 or older, or with whom you reside and to whom you are either married or in a civil union partnership.

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