Medicare Supplement Quotes

Greek Catholic Union of the USA Review

Written by Evens Stevenson

Medicare can provide enrollees with a comprehensive plan of coverage, there are also many potential fees that you could be responsible for. These can include copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles. Those fees can leave some seniors under a sea of debts.

There is, however, a way that you can help yourself to reduce, or even to eliminate, these out-of-pocket financial responsibilities. That is through the purchase of a Medicare Supplement insurance plan. This type of insurance was designed specifically for covering these gaps in Medicare’s coverage – and for that reason, it is often referred to as Medigap.

gcu of the usIf you decide to buy Medigap coverage, there are ten plans you pick from. Medigap Plan A through Plan N.

The government requires insurance carriers to provide certain coverage based on the letter.  This means that if Plan A is sold by one insurance company, it must have the exact same set of benefits when sold by other insurance company.

All Plan A’s are going to have the same protection, but they won’t have the same premiums. The price points between companies could be hundreds of dollars different.

Aside from looking at the premium prices, you also need to look at the stability and quality of the insurance company. You need a company who has been around for decades and has a long history of paying their policyholders in a timely manner. One of those companies is Greek Catholic Union of the USA (or GCU).

The History of the Greek Catholic Union of the USA

The Greek Catholic Union of the USA (GCU) was founded more than 100 years ago. The initial founders included 14 independent lodges that were associated with the Greek Catholic Church. Today, the faith is known as Byzantine Catholic, and the churches are members of the Eastern Catholic Church.

Many years ago, lodges were formed at each church in order to provide security and protection to their Rusin immigrant founders. Many of these immigrants worked in dangerous jobs like steel mills and coal mines – and because of this, these individuals would not qualify for life insurance coverage due to the potential risk. Therefore, whenever a member was hurt or killed, the lodge would assess a fee on the other members, which was then passed along to help the worker’s family financially.

In the year 1891, a plan was formed by the members of the Greek Catholic clergy, to unite the independent lodges and in turn, form a much stronger bond between the Rusin people – who had not settled across the eastern parts of the United States, in areas such as New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.

Soon afterwards, the Greek Catholic Union was formed. This union began humbly with 743 members, and with $600 in assets. Throughout the years, though, the union has grown and expanded exponentially. The union is headquartered in Beaver, Pennsylvania.

Greek Catholic Union of the USA Review

Today, the Greek Catholic Union is a billion dollar entity – however, it still maintains the same goals and vision of its founders more than a century ago. The company offers a wide range of products – which are available to all who are Christians.

As of year-end 2015, this entity had in excess of $1.35 billion in total assets, with approximately $318 million in total income. There was also nearly $90.8 million in surplus – which allows the GCU to pay out its insurance claims.

The GCU continues to be active in the Byzantine Catholic church – and particularly with those areas in which lodges are based. In addition to offering insurance protection, the GCU also provides fraternal programs that allow its members the opportunity to collaborate in social and athletic, as well as fund raising events.

Grades and Ratings

Because of the way the entity is set up, the Greek Catholic Union of the USA does not have an A.M. Best rating. Therefore, even though the entity appears to be solid financially, without an official insurer rating, it can be difficult to determine how it may compare to other insurance carriers in terms of its overall financial strength.

On a similar note, GCU doesn’t have credit from the BBB, but they do have an A+ rating. This is the highest possible grade from the BBB.

Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans Offered by Greek Catholic Union of the USA

Through the Greek Catholic Union of the USA, there are 5 different Medicare Supplement insurance plans:

  • Plan A
  • Plan B
  • Plan F
  • Plan G
  • Plan N

If you decide to buy the most basic plan, Plan A, this is the protection you’re going to get:

  • Medicare Part A hospital copayment for days 61 through 150, as well as an additional 365 lifetime days once the enrollee’s lifetime reserve day’s end.
  • The first three pints of blood needed each year
  • Part A hospice copayment and / or coinsurance
  • Medicare Part B copayment

If you want more coverage, then you need to skip to a Plan F:

  • Medicare Part A hospital copayment for days 61 through 150, as well as an additional 365 lifetime days once the enrollee’s lifetime reserve days end.
  • The first three pints of blood needed each year
  • Part A hospice copayment and / or coinsurance
  • Medicare Part B copayment or coinsurance
  • Medicare Part A deductible
  • Skilled nursing facility copayment (Days 21 through 100)
  • Medicare Part A deductible
  • Medicare Part B deductible
  • Medicare Part B excess charges
  • Foreign Travel Emergency coverage

Because Plan F offers a long list of benefits, the premium may be higher than other Medigap plans. However, by going with the alternate high deductible version of Medicare Supplement Plan F, a lower premium may be available. In return, the plan will not pay any benefits until an annual deductible has been met.

With any of these Medicare Supplement insurance plans, there are two underwriting classes. These include Standard (which encompasses all who do not use tobacco), and Smoker. If an individual applies during his or her Medicare Supplement initial enrollment period, they can be issued a policy under the Standard underwriting class – regardless of whether or not they are a smoker, and if they have health issues. In addition, the insurance carrier cannot charge more in premium to those who have adverse health conditions.

If a person waits until after their initial enrollment period ends to enroll in a Medigap plan, then they run the risk of either having to pay more in premium if they have adverse health – or possibly even being denied for such coverage altogether. This initial enrollment period for Medicare Supplement insurance will begin when a person turns age 65 and is also enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B (and they are paying for their Medicare Part B premium). The enrollment period will then run for six months.

For those who are members of the Greek Catholic Union, there may also be a household premium discount of 7 percent available.

Other Products and Services

The Greek Catholic Union of the USA also offers the following products:

  • Life Insurance
  • Annuities

GCU sells both term and whole life insurance. With term life, protection can be purchased for a set number of years, and usually very affordable – especially if the applicant is in good health at the time of application for coverage.

In terms of permanent life insurance, GCU provides whole life coverage. With a whole life insurance plan, the insured is covered with a set amount of death benefit, and there is also the ability to build up savings in a cash value component. The premiums with a whole life insurance policy will typically remain fixed throughout the life of the policy, even as the policyholder gets older.

GCU also offers retirement annuities. With today’s life expectancy getting longer, one of the top worries of retirees is outliving their income. An annuity can solve that need. These products offer a set amount of income for a period of time – and if the lifetime income option is chosen, a check will continue to be received throughout the remainder of a person’s life.

Through GCU, individuals may purchase fixed deferred annuities. These types of annuities offer a guaranteed minimum interest rate during the accumulation period – and principal is protected from market downturns, which can provide peace of mind.

Getting the Cheapest Medigap Protection

If you’re going to buy protection through the Greek Catholic Union of the USA – or from any insurance carrier –you should team up with an independent insurance agency or brokerage where you can more easily shop and compare plans and rates in an unbiased manner. Doing so can help to save you a great deal of time (and frustration) throughout the Medicare Supplement insurance plan shopping process.

If you want to secure the best supplemental protection, our agents can help you get there. We’ve spent years building relationships with dozens of companies across the country.

Don’t let some medical bills destroy your retirement savings. Give us a call at 800-376-0824, and we can help you find the perfect plan. Not only can we give you a bunch of quotes, but we can also give you any advice about which plan is the perfect one for you.

 

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