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

Christian Worstell

by Christian Worstell | Published March 30, 2021 | 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 $2,370 in 2021. 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 ($203 per year in 2021), 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 $203 per year in 2021), you would have paid $1,518.36 on premiums and your deductible. (The Part B deductible is $203 per year in 2021).

  • 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.

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Medicare Supplement Benefits

Part A coinsurance and hospital coverage

Part B coinsurance or copayment

Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment

First 3 pints of blood

Skilled nursing facility coinsurance

Part A deductible

Part B deductible

Part B excess charges

Foreign travel emergency

Medicare Supplement Benefits A B C* D F1* G1 K2 L3 M N4
Part A coinsurance and hospital coverage
Part B coinsurance or copayment 50% 75%
Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment 50% 75%
First 3 pints of blood 50% 75%
Skilled nursing facility coinsurance 50% 75%
Part A deductible 50% 75% 50%
Part B deductible
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.

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1 Plans F and G offer high-deductible plans that each have an annual deductible of $2,370 in 2021. Once the annual deductible is met, the plan pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the year. The high-deductible Plan F is not available to new beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.

2 Plan K has an out-of-pocket yearly limit of $6,220 in 2021. 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 $3,110 in 2021. 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.

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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 2021

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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