Comparing plans

Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan F vs. Plan N: How to Choose

Christian Worstell

by Christian Worstell | Published May 26, 2020 | Reviewed by John Krahnert

There are two major differences between Medigap Plan F and Medigap Plan N:

Plan F covers the Medicare Part B deductible and Medicare Part B excess charges, while Plan N does not.

Also, Plan F is not available to Medicare beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020. If you became eligible for Medicare prior to 2020, you may be able to get Plan F if it is available in your area.

Refer to the following chart for a side-by-side view of the benefits that each plan provides. 

Plan N Medicare Supplement Benefits Plan F
100% Part A co-insurance and hospital costs 100%
100% Part B co-insurance or co-payment 100%
100%  First 3 pints of blood 100%
100%  Part A hospice care co-insurance or co-payment 100%
100%  Co-insurance for skilled nursing facility 100%
100% Medicare Part A deductible 100%
80% Foreign travel emergency  80%
No coverage Medicare Part B deductible 100%
No coverage Medicare Part B excess charges 100%

Is Plan F the best Medicare Supplement plan?

Medigap Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement Insurance plan.1

Medigap Plan F helps pay for more out-of-pocket Medicare costs than any other type of Medigap plan, but it may also come with a higher premium.

There are 10 standardized Medigap plans available in most states.

Each type of Medigap policy offers the first four basic benefits listed below. Each plan offers a different combination of the other five additional benefits:

  1. Part A hospital coinsurance and hospital costs
  2. Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
  3. Part B coinsurance or copayment
  4. First 3 pints of blood
  5. Part A deductible
  6. Part B deductible
  7. Part B excess charges
  8. Skilled nursing care
  9. Foreign travel emergency care costs

Medigap Plan F offers coverage for all nine of the benefits listed above.

High-deductible Plan F

Medigap Plan F also comes with a high-deductible option.

High-deductible Plan F features an annual deductible of $2,340 in 2020. You must meet this deductible before the plan's coverage begins.

One potential benefit of the high deductible is a lower average premium, which is discussed below.

Plan N does not have a high-deductible option.

What is Medicare Supplement Plan N?

Medigap Plan N is the third-most popular Medicare Supplement Insurance plan.1

Plan N covers seven of the nine basic Medigap benefits, excluding coverage for the Medicare Part B deductible ($198 per year in 2020), and Medicare Part B excess charges.

With Medigap Plan N, you are also responsible for up to a $50 copay for certain emergency room visits that don't result in admission for in-patient care, and up to a $20 copay for some visits to your physician.

Depending on the types of health care costs you anticipate, the money you save on potentially lower Plan N premiums could possibly make it a better choice than Plan F.

The decision will ultimately come down to your specific needs.

What is the average cost of Medigap Plan F vs. Plan N?

The average premium paid for Medigap Plan F in 2018 was $169.14 per month.2

The average premium for Medigap Plan N in 2018 was $111.28 per month.2

The high deductible option for Plan F had an average premium of only $57.16 per month in 2018.2

How do I choose between Plan F vs. Plan N?

So Plan N average premiums cost less  than standard Plan F average premiums, but Plan F covers more. How do you decide between these two plans?

Let's start by examining one of the benefit areas that Plan F covers but Plan N does not, which is the Part B deductible.

  • If you were enrolled in Plan N that charged the average premium ($111.28 per month) and paid the Part B deductible in full (which was $183 per year in 2018), you would have paid $1,518.36 on premiums and your deductible. (The Part B deductible is $198 per year in 2020).

  • If you were enrolled in Plan F that charged the average premium ($169.14 per month) and didn't have to pay the Part B deductible, you still would have paid $2,029.68 on premiums alone.

That's a difference of $511.32 more for the year for Plan F.

Medigap Plan F also covers Part B excess charges.

  • When you visit a doctor who does not accept Medicare assignment, this means they do not agree to accept Medicare reimbursement as payment in full for the costs of your covered services. 

  • If you go to a non-participating doctor, you could have to make a payment of up to 15% of the Medicare-approved amount for a service out of your own pocket. This 15% cost is called the Part B excess charge.

Medigap Plan N does not provide any coverage for Part B excess charges.

Medigap Plan F and Plan N vs. other Medigap plans

You can use the chart below to compare the benefits of the 10 standardized Medicare Supplement Insurance plans that are available in most states.

Find Medigap plans in your area

When deciding between Medigap Plan F and Plan N, weigh all your options and connect with a licensed insurance agent who can help you compare plans.

Medicare Supplement Benefits

A

B

C*

D

F1*

G

K2

L3

M

N4

Part A co-insurance and hospital costs

Part B co-insurance or co-payment

50%

75%

First 3 pints of blood

50%

75%

Part A hospice care co-insurance or co-payment

50%

75%

Co-insurance for skilled nursing facility

 

 

50%

75%

Medicare Part A deductible

 

50%

75%

50%

Medicare Part B deductible

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medicare Part B excess charges

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foreign travel emergency

 

 

80%

80%

80%

80%

 

 

80%

80%

* Plan F and Plan C are not available to Medicare beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020. If you became eligible for Medicare before 2020, you may still be able to enroll in Plan F or Plan C as long as they are available in your area. If you are already enrolled in Plan F or Plan C, you can keep your plan. 

1. Plan F offers a high-deductible plan. This plan requires you to pay a $2,340 deductible in 2020 before it covers anything.

2. Plan K has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $5,880 in 2020. After you pay the out-of-pocket yearly limit and yearly Part B deductible, it pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the calendar year. 

3. Plan L has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $2,940 in 2020.After you pay the out-of-pocket yearly limit and yearly Part B deductible, it pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the calendar year. 

4. Plan N pays 100% of the Part B coinsurance, except for a copayment of up to $20 for some office visits and up to $50 copayment for emergency room visits that don’t result in an inpatient admission.

Compare Medigap plan costs in your area.

Find a plan
Or call 1-800-995-4219 to speak with a licensed insurance agent.

 

1 AHIP. State of Medigap 2019 Trends in Enrollment and Demographics. (May, 2019). Retrieved from www.ahip.org/wp-content/uploads/IB_StateofMedigap2019.pdf.

2 TZ Insurance Solutions LLC internal sales data, 2019. This data is based on the Medicare Supplement Insurance policies TZ Insurance Solutions LLC has sold. It is not a comprehensive national average of all available Medicare Supplement Insurance plan premiums.

Resource Center

Compare Medigap Plans 2020

See how the 10 Medigap plans differ. Review our chart for a detailed comparison of Medicare Supplement insurance benefits and compare Medigap options where you live. Read more
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