Medicare Supplement Plan N – Part N
Medicare Supplement Plan N is one of the more popular supplement plans among beneficiaries in 2020. It’s the plan for those looking to have lower monthly premiums, without giving up benefits.
Medicare Plan N is a Medigap plan that fills in the gaps in coverage. In exchange for lower premiums, beneficiaries pay deductibles and a few copays.
Since the introduction of Plan N in 2010, enrollment increases year after year.
2020 Guide to Medicare Supplement Plan N
Despite the carrier you choose to enroll with, the benefits are the same. When comparing Plan N across carriers in your area, you’re comparing the price vs. the benefits.
You may have heard of this supplement plan referred to as Part N. Part N, Medigap Plan N, and Medicare Plan N, are all the same plan.
The correct term is Plan N since, in the Medicare world, Parts refer to Original Medicare, and Plans refer to Medicare Supplements or Medigap.
What Does Medicare Plan N Cover?
Plan N will cover your inpatient deductible, which falls under Part A. It also covers your inpatient copays and coinsurance, minus a small copay of $50. Which is what helps keep your monthly premium low.
The main benefit all supplement plans cover is the Part B coinsurance, which is 20% of your medical costs in an outpatient setting.
When you have Medicare Plan N, the only out of pocket costs you’ll have when visiting your doctor is the $20 copay, as well as the Part B deductible of $198. This $20 copay is also what helps keep your monthly premium low.
If you live in a state that allows excess charges, you may have to pay those as well. However, most doctors accept Medicare assignment, so excess charges are rare. If this is something you’re concerned about, then a Plan G will be your best option.
This plan includes foreign travel emergency benefits. If you love to travel outside the United States, Plan N will have your back if you find yourself in need of emergency care while overseas.
Inpatient Coverage with Plan N
In addition to covering the Part A deductible and coinsurance, you’ll have coverage for other inpatient hospital services.
Some types of services include home health, hospice, blood transfusions, skilled nursing care, etc.
You’ll also get an additional 365 days of inpatient benefits in case you exhaust your Medicare benefits.
Outpatient Coverage with Plan N
Anything that falls under the definition of preventive care is covered 100% by Medicare. Including any preventive screenings as well as annual physicals.
If it’s a screening or physical that everyone gets typically to make sure they are healthy, you pay nothing.
Your Plan N benefits will help cover any out of pocket costs associated with an illness or injury.
If you need any imaging like an MRI or x-rays, lab work, or if you need surgery, that 20% coinsurance is covered by your Plan N.
Medicare Plan N Outline of Coverage Chart for 2020
Medicare Supplement Plan N Costs
The average premium for Medicare Supplement Plan N is anywhere between $80-$200 a month.
Yes, this is a broad range.
It entirely depends on your personal information. Information such as what state you live in, your gender, your age, when you signed up, etc.
You will pay more for the same benefits if you live in a state that has a higher cost of living or a high 65+ population, like Florida.
In addition to the monthly premium, you’ll have to pay the Part B deductible of $198.
Outside the monthly premium & Part B deductible, you do have small copays.
Medicare Plan N Copays
In exchange for lower monthly premiums, you acknowledge paying a small copay of $50 when visiting the emergency room and $20 copay at the doctors’ office.
However, there’s a loophole with this! If you visit an Urgent Care center, there is no copay.
If you can’t get in with your primary care physician, instead of going to the emergency room over something minor, you can go to Urgent Care and get out of paying a copay.
Example of How Plan N Works
Sheryl explains to her agent that she rarely visits the doctors’ office.
Due to this, she doesn’t feel it’s necessary to go with a more expensive plan, such as Plan G or Plan F.
Her agent explained to her that if she’s willing to pay some copays, then she’ll save somewhere around 30% in monthly premiums.
Sheryl loved the idea of paying a small copay to have a lower premium.
Sheryl’s inpatient care deductible has 100% coverage. For her outpatient care, she’ll be responsible for the Part B deductible, which again is $198 for 2020.
She’ll also have a $20 copay each time she visits her primary physician & $50 copay if she happens to visit the emergency room.
Let’s say Sheryl was experiencing some chest tightness, so she wanted to get it checked out to make sure it wasn’t anything serious.
She schedules an appointment with her primary care physician. When she goes to check-in at the front desk, they ask for the $20 copay.
Since Sheryl has an experienced Medicare agent by her side, she knew that if they asked her to pay the Part B deductible there, she would tell them to bill Medicare first for the $198.
Never pay the Part B deductible at your doctors’ office. ALWAYS have them bill Medicare for it. That way, Medicare has on record that you have met the deductible.
Her doctor ordered some basic diagnostics tests & scheduled a follow-up visit to review them.
Later that month, Sheryl received a bill for her medical services from that day.
Since Sheryl had met her Part B deductible for that calendar year already, she received a statement for $0.
Due to Sheryl already meeting the deductible and her Plan N being billed the 20% coinsurance for the diagnostic tests, she pays nothing. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
If Sheryl Did Not Have Plan N
However, if Sheryl did not have a Medicare Supplement plan, the 20% coinsurance she would’ve been responsible for covering.
Which according to the statement she received, it would’ve cost her over $180 out of pocket.
Medicare Plan N vs. Plan G vs. Plan F
Medigap Plan N has the lowest premium cost when compared to Plan F and Plan G. However, the difference between these plan benefits is very little.
Beneficiaries may save an average of $10 a month between Plan N and G on premiums alone, although the savings between Plan N and F are about $40 a month, on average.
What’s the Difference in Benefits?
Plan F is your comprehensive coverage Medigap plan. It covers 100% of your out of pocket costs. Outside of the monthly premium, you pay nothing, ever.
Plan G is one step down from Plan F. The only difference between these two plans is the Part B deductible.
Plan N is one step down from Plan G. Aside from the deductible under Part B; you’re responsible for the small copays mentioned above as well as any excess charges. (which are rare)
Who’s Eligible for Plan N
You must be enrolled in both Part A & Part B of Medicare to be eligible for a Medicare Supplement plan.
Regardless if you’re aging into Medicare, or on SSDI, as long as your Part B is in effect, you’re eligible to enroll.
When Do I Enroll in Plan N
Unlike Medicare Parts, supplement plans don’t have annual enrollment periods. You can enroll in a supplement plan at any time of the year.
However, there is a better time to enroll. The better time to sign up is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period.
Your Open Enrollment Period for Medigap is a six-month window that begins with your Part B effective date.
It’s a one time chance to enroll without having to answer any health questions. Meaning you cannot be denied coverage or be given a higher premium due to your health.
The only time this Open Enrollment Period comes around twice in a lifetime is if you’re collecting SSDI. Those on SSDI will get a second OEP when they turn 65.
Carriers that Offer Medicare Plan N
Since Plan N is one of the most popular plans, the majority of the bigger, well-known carriers offer it. Many of the not so common carriers also offer Plan N.
We work with over 30 reputable carriers nationwide, including Aetna, Mutual of Omaha, Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and many more.
It’s essential to go with an agency that works with multiple carriers vs. just one. This way, you can ensure you’re getting the best possible rate.
Remember, plan benefits are standardized. Meaning it doesn’t matter which carrier you go with; the benefits will be the same.
The ONLY difference between carriers and the plan is the premium they charge you each month for those same benefits.
Medicare Supplement Plan N Reviews
It’s important to understand that when researching reviews for a specific letter plan, make sure the reviews you read are not about the carrier, but the Medigap plan.
A lot of times, the negative reviews you see are about the carrier, not the plan.
That’s why it’s essential to work with an agent. Part of their job is dealing with the carrier, so you don’t have to.
The feedback we hear from clients about Plan N are all positive. As long as they’re prepared to pay small copays, they always seem happy with Plan N.
They know if Medicare pays, their Medigap plan pays.
The only negative feedback we get is on those rare occasions when the client goes to see a doctor that doesn’t accept Medicare assignment.
In these scenarios, our clients tend to switch over to Plan G, so their excess charges are covered.
Common Client Questions We Hear
What’s the difference between Medicare Plan F and Plan N?
The difference between Plan F & Plan N is coverage for the Part B deductible, excess charges, and small copays while visiting your primary care physician and emergency room.
Does Medicare Supplement Plan N cover physical therapy?
If your doctor states it’s medically necessary, then yes. Medigap Plan N will cover any out of pocket costs associated with physical therapy services.
What is the deductible for Plan N?
Technically, there is no deductible for Plan N. The deductible you’re responsible for paying falls under your Part B coverage. That deductible is $198.
Does Medicare Plan N cover dental?
No, Medigap plans do not cover dental services. You would need to pick up a stand-alone dental plan to supplement your Medicare coverage.
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Our job is to keep you informed and up-to-date with the latest Medicare changes. You can depend on your agent and our Client Care Team to help you manage claims & to make sure you have the best rate at all times.
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