Medicare Supplement Plan N, or Medigap Plan N, is one of the more popular supplement plans among beneficiaries. It’s the plan for those looking to have lower monthly premiums, without giving up the best benefits.
In exchange for lower premiums, you’re left responsible for some deductibles and co-payments. Since Medicare Plan N was introduced, enrollment has significantly increased year over year.
You may have heard this plan referred to as Medicare Part N. The correct term in Plan N, but they’re both the same plan.
Medicare Supplement Plan N
All Medigap Plans come with basic benefits, then each plan has additional coverage benefit(s) added. Plan N covers all the additional benefit options, except for two of them.
What Medigap Plan N Covers
- 20% of your medical costs that Part B does NOT cover
- Part A deductible
- All hospital copayments, as well as coinsurance
- Emergency medical costs when traveling outside the U.S.
On top of standard preventive care that’s covered by Original Medicare, Medicare Supplement Plan N will also include coverage for an illness or injury treated at your primary physician’s office, durable medical equipment such as CPAP machines or diabetic supplies, any medically necessary surgeries, home healthcare, diagnostic testing, and much more.
If you end up in the hospital for any reason, you’re responsible for the Medicare Part A deductible. With Plan N, your Part A deductible is covered. If your stay in the hospital exceeds the total amount of days covered by Part A, Medicare Plan N will cover an additional 365 days.
Anything that Original Medicare covers, your Medicare Supplement Plan N will pick up the remaining costs left up to the beneficiary to pay. After Medicare pays their 80% share, the remaining 20% is billed to your supplement plan.
What Plan N Doesn’t Cover
- Part B deductible
- Part B excess charges
- Small co-pay for some office and emergency room visits
Medicare Plan N Copays
One of the reasons Medicare Plan N premiums are so low is due to the small co-pays for doctors’ visits and emergency room visits.
- Up to $20 co-payment for doctor office visits
- Up to $50 co-payment for emergency room visits.
If you’re admitted into the hospital, the co-pay for the emergency room visit is waived.
Medigap Plan N Costs
Out of pocket costs you’re left responsible for when enrolled in Medigap Plan N is the co-payments for doctor visits and emergency room visits listed above, the Part B deductible, and any excess charges that fall under Part B.
The Part B deductible is $185. Excess charges can be up to 15% of your medical costs providers may charge that exceeds the approved Medicare amount.
However, most providers accept Medicare Assignment and don’t charge for excess charges. Depending on the state you live in, excess charges may not even be allowed.
So, excess charges not something to be too concerned about. A quick phone call to your provider asking if they accept Medicare Assignment will let you know if this is something you need covered or not.
The other out of pocket costs would be your premiums.
Medicare Supplement Plan N Premiums
All Medicare Supplement Plan premiums are determined by the carrier you choose to enroll with. What’s important to remember is all Medigap Plans are standardized. This means it does not matter which carrier you choose, the benefits will be exactly the same.
The only difference between the different letter plans across all carriers is the premium they charge for those same exact benefits. Carriers use three different pricing methods to determine the premium they will charge.
They also take your personal information and use it as a premium determining factor such as age, location, gender, etc. The cost for Medigap Plan N for one person in a specific state can be completely different than it is for another person in a different state.
The average premium for Medicare Supplement Plan N is anywhere between $80-$200 a month. Again, it completely depends on your unique factors… it could be less or more. That’s why it’s important to speak to a licensed agent that can compare premiums side by side with all the top carriers in your area.
Medicare Plan N Eligibility
To be eligible for Medicare Supplement Plan N, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part B and at least 65 years old. There are some carriers that offer Plan N to those on Medicare due to a disability. However, this is dependent on the state you live in.
When to Enroll in Medicare Supplement Plan N
You can enroll in Medigap Plan N at any time of the year, as long your Part B is in effect. Unlike Original Medicare, there’s not specific time periods where you can only enroll or change your plan.
However, there’s a better time to enroll that will guarantee your acceptance into the plan. During the first six months your Part B is in effect, your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period begins.
During this six month time frame, you’re granted guaranteed issue. This means a carrier cannot deny you coverage due to any pre-existing conditions or health concerns. It also means they cannot charge you more in premiums due to your age.
Again, you can enroll in Medigap Plan N at any time as long as you have Medicare Part B. If you’re Open Enrollment Period has passed, you’ll have to answer some medical questions to apply.
Medicare Plan N Carriers
Since Medicare Plan N is one of the most popular supplement plans, the majority of your well-known and trusted carriers will offer it. With that said, not all carriers offer Plan N in all states.
That’s why you need a licensed agent that can view what carriers offer Plan N in your state. Also, just because a well-known carrier offers the plan does not mean it’s the best price available.
Many smaller carriers, that also have great ratings, will offer the same Plan N that the well-known carriers offer, but at a much lower premium.
Alternative Medigap Plans Comparable to Plan N
If you’re comfortable with paying a higher monthly premium in order to get lower out of pocket costs, there’s a few other plans that may be of interest to you. This includes Plan G & Plan F.
In addition to covering 100% of your Part B coinsurance & copayments, both of these plans will cover any Part B excess charges. You won’t have to worry about the small co-pay required for office and emergency room visits.
The only out of pocket costs left up to the beneficiary to pay when enrolled in Plan G is the Part B deductible.
Plan F will cover your Part B deductible, leaving your with zero out of pocket costs. However, this plan is considered a first-dollar coverage plan. All first-dollar coverage plans are going away to beneficiaries who become eligible for Medicare after 2020.
Prescription Drug Coverage
Plan N will cover any leftover out of pocket costs for medications that are administrated during a hospital stay or at the doctor’s office. Medigap Plans do not provide coverage for prescriptions you fill at your local pharmacy and administer yourself.
This is where your Medicare Part D comes into play. There are many stand-alone prescription drug plans that were created to supplement your Original Medicare and Medigap Plan benefits.
Dental, Vision & Hearing Benefits
Medigap Plans do not include coverage for routine dental, vision or hearing services. There are stand-alone plans that can be added as a supplement to Plan N to fill in these gaps in coverage.
Medigap Plan N vs Medicare Advantage Plans
You’ve probably seen the commercials that say you can get a Medicare Advantage Plan with a zero dollar premium. If it seems too good to be true… that’s because it is.
These commercials are deceiving, and end up putting beneficiaries in a tough position. There are many reasons why beneficiaries would choose a Medigap Plan over a Medicare Advantage Plan, including the freedom to choose your own doctor.
The dental, vision and hearing benefits they claim to include are extremely limited. Again, you can only see their in network doctors, and the out of pocket costs quickly add up.
On another note, these plans replace your Original Medicare. The same Medicare you’ve paid into your entire working life.
Medicare was forced to bring back a specific enrollment period for Medicare Advantage beneficiaries starting in 2019. Why? Because so many new enrollees ended up stuck in a plan they didn’t want.
They had to wait until the next Annual Enrollment Period to switch back to Original Medicare & pick up a Medicare Supplement Plan instead. Now, if you find yourself in this position, you have a new enrollment period to make changes.
Compare Medicare Plan N Rates Side by Side
Comparing rates for Medicare Plan N side by side with all the different carriers can be an extremely daunting task. Staying up to speed on all the constant Medicare changes is a challenge in itself.
Our rate comparison tool is simple to use, and our agents can make sure your educated and informed on all your Medicare benefits. Not only can our agents compare Plan N rates across carriers that offer it, they can compare all Medigap Plans across all carriers in your area.
Plus, our services do not cost you anything. Our Client Service Team will make sure the entire process goes smoothly. Not just your application, but also any Medicare claim issues you may have going forward.
Call us today, or if you prefer you can use our online rate comparison tool here. Remember, all premiums are determined based off your individual information. Once we collect that information, we’ll be able to send you the rates that are specific to you.