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Medicare Supplement Plan N Reviews

Christian Worstell by Christian Worstell    |    Published Oct 03, 2019    |    Reviewed by John Krahnert

Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan N (also known as Medigap Plan N) is one of the 10 standardized types of Medigap plans that is available in most states. Plan N covers more out-of-pocket Medicare costs than most of the other types of Medigap plans.

Below is a review of Plan N, including the benefits it covers and the average cost for Medigap Plan N.

A couple calculates costs in their home

What Does Medicare Supplement Plan N Cover?

There are 9 benefit areas that Medicare Supplement Insurance plans can offer. Plan N provides coverage for 7 of these possible Medigap benefits, which are out-of-pocket costs that Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) doesn’t cover.

This means that if you have Plan N, you have coverage for a number of Medicare costs related to inpatient care that can quickly add up and potentially cost you a lot of money.

You can use the chart below to compare the plans of Medigap Plan N to the benefits of other types of Medigap plans.

2019 Medigap plans comparison chart

The coverage of each type of Medigap plan is standardized by the federal government. That means the benefits of a Plan N sold in one state will be the same as the Plan N benefits sold anywhere else. 

Plan N Offers Full Coverage for a Number of Costs

Medigap Plan N covers the following Medicare costs in full:

  1. Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
    After you meet your Part A deductible, you could face Part A coinsurance costs that range from $341 to $682 per day in 2019, if you experience an inpatient hospital stay lasting longer than 60 days in a single benefit period.  

  2. Medicare Part B coinsurance and copayments
    Part B beneficiaries typically pay 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for covered services after meeting the Part B deductible (which is $185 per year in 2019).

    Plan N fully covers your Part B coinsurance costs except for a copay up to $20 for some office visits and up to $50 for emergency room visits that don’t result in inpatient hospital admission.

  3. First 3 pints of blood
    Original Medicare does not provide any coverage for the first 3 pints of blood used for a transfusion. Medigap Plan N fully covers the cost of the first 3 pints of blood.

  4. Part A hospice care coinsurance and copayments
    Hospice care covered under Part A generally requires small copayments for medications and a five percent coinsurance for respite care.  

  5. Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
    Daily coinsurance during an inpatient stay at a skilled nursing facility is $170.50 per day for days 21 through 100 in 2019.  

  6. Part A deductible
    Medicare Part A requires a deductible of $1,364 for each benefit period in 2019. A benefit period begins the day you are admitted to a hospital or skilled nursing facility as an inpatient and ends once you have not been an inpatient for 60 consecutive days.

    You could potentially face more than one benefit period in a year, and you would have to meet the Part A deductible each time that you experience a benefit period.

Plan N Offers Partial Coverage for Foreign Travel Care

Plan N provides coverage for 80% of the costs of covered emergency care received outside of the U.S.

Original Medicare doesn’t typically cover any health care you might receive while traveling abroad. 

What Does Medicare Supplement Plan N Not Cover?

There are just two benefit areas for which Plan N does not offer any coverage: 

  1. The Medicare Part B deductible
    You must first meet your Part B deductible of $185 per year in 2019, before your Part B coverage will kick in.

  2. Part B excess charges
    When you visit a health care provider who does not accept Medicare assignment (meaning they do not accept the Medicare-approved amount as full payment), the provider reserves the right to charge up to 15 percent more for their services.

    This is known as an “excess charge.” Excess charges can be avoided simply by only receiving care from providers who accept Medicare assignment. Most providers do accept Medicare assignment.

While Plan N does not cover the Part B deductible or excess charges, you may find Plan N premiums in your area that are lower than Medigap plans that do cover these costs.

How Much Does Plan N Cost?

In 2018, the average premium paid for Plan N was $111.28 per month.1

This was the least expensive monthly premium out of any standard Medicare Supplement plan in 2018.

You can compare the average monthly premium of each type of Medigap plan in the chart below.

Plan Monthly Premium Annual Premium
A $192.33 $2,308
B $141.24 $1,695
C $189.88 $2,279
D $157.33 $1,888
F $169.14 $2,030
High deductible F $57.16 $686
G $122.78 $1,473
J $160.07 $1,921
K N/A N/A
L N/A N/A
M $218.75 $2,625
N $111.28 $1,335

* Medigap Plan J was discontinued for new enrollees in 2010. Only beneficiaries who enrolled in the plan prior to that time may be currently enrolled in Plan J.

The average cost of a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan can vary based on a number of factors, such as age, gender, smoking status, health and where you live.

How Popular Is Plan N?

Plan N is one of the most widely available Medigap plans.

  • In 2017, 56 percent of all insurance companies that sold Medicare Supplement Insurance offered Plan N.2
  • In 2017, 10 percent of all Medigap beneficiaries were enrolled in Plan N, which was the third-highest enrollment rate of all plans.
  • Medigap Plan N enrollment increased 12 percent from 2016 to 2017, which made it the second-fastest growing plan during that time. 

As of 2017, total Plan N enrollment was nearing 1.29 million Americans

Plan N is available everywhere Medicare is accepted.

Learn more about Medicare Supplement Plan N in your state

How Does Plan N Compare to Plan F?

Plan F is the only Medigap plan to offer coverage in all 9 possible benefit areas, and more than half of all Medigap beneficiaries belong to Plan F.2

So how does Plan N measure up against the most popular Medigap plan? There are three primary differences between Plan F vs. Plan N:

  1. Plan F offers 100 percent of Medicare Part B coinsurance. Plan N also provides 100 percent coverage, but certain office visits will require a $20 copayment, and an emergency room visit that does not result in an inpatient admission will require a $50 copayment. 
  2. Plan F covers the Medicare Part B deductible in full. Plan N offers no coverage for the Part B deductible. 
  3. Plan F offers full coverage of Medicare Part B excess charges. Plan N offers no coverage of Part B excess charges.  

So could Plan N be a better choice than Plan F? It depends on your unique health care needs and your anticipated medical expenses. 

The average premium paid for Plan F in 2018 was $169.14 per month, which is nearly $58 more per month than the average Plan N premium. That equals $694 more per year for Plan F than Plan N. 

The Medicare Part B deductible (which is covered by Plan F but not by Plan N) is just $185 per year.

If you paid the average premium for Plan N and paid the Part B deductible out of pocket, you would still be paying $509 less over the course of the year than you would for the average monthly premium of Plan F in 2018.

And as long as you do not visit any providers who do not accept Medicare assignment, you will not incur any Part B excess charges.

MedicareSupplement.com Customer Reviews

Of course, the right Medigap plan for one person is not necessarily the best plan for someone else. The cost of plans can fluctuate from one location to the next.

One great way to compare Medicare Supplement Plan N options that may be available near you is to call to speak with a licensed insurance agent. A licensed agent can help you compare your options so that you can find a plan that fits your needs.

 

Compare Medigap plans in your area.

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Or call --ms-tfn-- to speak with a licensed insurance agent.

 

You can also read MedicareSupplement.com customer reviews to learn more about how our licensed insurance agents can help you navigate the complex world of Medicare.

 


1 CMS. Medicare Enrollment Dashboard. Retrieved Aug. 2019, from www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/Dashboard/Medicare-Enrollment/Enrollment%20Dashboard.html.

2 AHIP. The State of Medigap 2019. (May, 2019). Retrieved from www.ahip.org/wp-content/uploads/IB_StateofMedigap2019.pdf.


 

Christian Worstell is a health care and policy writer for MedicareSupplement.com. He has written hundreds of articles helping people better understand their Medicare coverage options.

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