Whether you are new to Medicare and looking for the right Medigap plan to fit your needs, or you’ve been on Medicare a few years and are trying to keep up to date with the best coverage, you should absolutely consider Medicare Supplement Plan N as an option.
What is Medicare Medicare Plan N?
Medicare Supplement Plan N, also known as Medigap Plan N, is a standardized insurance policy designed to help fill gaps in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) coverage.
Medigap Plan N offers a range of benefits that help cover out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance, making healthcare more affordable for beneficiaries.
Medicare Supplement Plan N has:
- Lower Premiums than Medicare Plan G
- Lower Rate increase than Plan G
- No Network (Choose the best doctors)
- Great coverage, minimal out-of-pocket expenses
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Medicare Supplement Plan N Benefits
Without a doubt, Medicare Plan N will be one of the most popular Medigap Plans for 2024 with more enrollments than ever.
Medicare Supplement Plan N offers several key benefits to policyholders, including:
- Part A Hospital deductible coverage
- Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used up
- Part B coinsurance (except for copayments for some office and emergency room visits)
- Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayments
- Skilled nursing facility (SNF) care coinsurance
- First, three pints of blood used in a medical procedure
- Foreign travel emergency coverage (up to plan limits)
What does Medicare Supplement Plan N Cover?
Medicare Supplement Plan N covers several expenses not fully covered by Original Medicare, such as:
- Medicare Part A deductible
- Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
- Hospice care copayments or coinsurance
- The first three pints of blood in a medical procedure
- Foreign travel emergency care
However, Plan N does not cover Medicare Part B deductible or Part B excess charges.
Medicare Part B Deductible
Medicare Part B is a crucial component of the Medicare program, covering various outpatient services such as doctor visits, diagnostic tests, preventive care, and durable medical equipment.
One critical aspect of Medicare Part B coverage that beneficiaries need to understand is the Part B deductible. This article will explain the Medicare Part B deductible and how it functions within the broader Medicare system.
The Medicare Part B deductible is an annual out-of-pocket expense that beneficiaries must pay before Medicare begins covering their healthcare costs.
This deductible is a set amount determined each year by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). In 2023, for example, the Medicare Part B deductible is $226. It is essential for Medicare beneficiaries to be aware of this deductible, as it directly impacts their healthcare expenses.
Medicare Part B and Doctor’s bills
Once a beneficiary meets the annual Medicare Part B deductible, Medicare will typically cover 80% of the Medicare-approved amount for covered services.
The remaining 20% is the responsibility of the beneficiary, referred to as coinsurance. For instance, if a beneficiary has a doctor’s visit that costs $200 and has already met their annual deductible, Medicare will cover 80% of the $200, which is $160.
The beneficiary would then be responsible for the remaining $40 as coinsurance.
It’s worth noting that there is no annual out-of-pocket maximum for Medicare Part B coinsurance, which means a beneficiary’s costs could continue to accumulate throughout the year. To help manage these expenses, many beneficiaries opt to enroll in a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan.
These plans, offered by private insurance companies such as Mutual of Omaha and Allstate, can cover costs such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance, providing additional financial protection for Medicare beneficiaries.
In conclusion, understanding the Medicare Part B deductible is vital for beneficiaries to make informed decisions about their healthcare coverage. By being aware of this deductible and how it works in conjunction with Medicare Part B, beneficiaries can better anticipate and manage their healthcare costs.
Additionally, considering enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plan can help mitigate the financial impact of the Medicare Part B deductible and other out-of-pocket expenses.
Medicare Part B Excess Charges
Doctors in this country who accept Medicare, also accept the assigned rates that Medicare publishes. This simply means that Medicare provides doctors with the amounts they can charge. This is called “assignment”.
Doctors must choose to either accept Medicare assignment for their entire practice or not. If a doctor does not accept Medicare assignment, they may charge up to 15% above what the Medicare rate is. With Medicare Plan N, you are required to pay this 15%.
Plan N does not cover Part B excess charges, but not to worry. It’s estimated that 96% of all doctors in the country accept Medicare assignment, so it’s quite rare that you would ever see an excess charge.
In fact, a study was done by a major carrier recently and it was determined that less than 1% of all their health claims actually had a Part B excess charge. And even in those few cases, the charge was less than $20.
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Medicare Supplement Plan N Copays
Medicare Supplement Plan N features copayments for certain office and emergency room visits. For office visits, the copay is up to $20, and for emergency room visits, the copay is up to $50.
Telehealth visits: There is no copayment for telehealth visits
Urgent care centers: If you visit an urgent care center instead of the emergency room, there is no copay
These copayments help keep Plan N premiums lower compared to other Medigap plans, like Plan G.
How Much Does Medicare Supplement Plan N Cost?
The cost of Medicare Supplement Plan N varies based on factors such as age, gender, location, and the insurance provider.
Premiums can range from $80 to $200 per month or more, depending on these factors. It is essential to compare premium rates across different insurance companies to find the best value for your needs.
Medicare Plan N vs. Plan G
Deciding between Medicare Plan N and Plan G, the two most sought-after plans can be challenging. To determine the best option, consider your healthcare needs and financial preferences.
For those who prefer minimal out-of-pocket medical expenses and are willing to pay a slightly higher premium for comprehensive coverage, Medicare Plan G might be the ideal choice. With only a small deductible to cover, Plan G provides extensive coverage.
On the other hand, if you have good health and are willing to accept occasional co-pays for doctor visits while still enjoying excellent coverage, Medicare Plan N could be an attractive option. An increasing number of people are opting for Plan N due to its affordable monthly premiums and lower rate increases compared to Plan G.
Lower Monthly Premiums Medicare Plan N’s monthly premiums are typically lower than those of Plan G. Depending on your location and age, Plan N can be up to $30 cheaper per month than Plan G. So, even if you have six doctor visits per year and pay the maximum co-pay of $20 each time, you will still save a significant amount with Plan N.
However, for individuals who frequently visit doctors, Medicare Plan G may be more suitable to avoid co-pays for each visit.
Allow us to help you compare the premium differences between the two plans, ensuring you choose the one that best suits your needs.
Medicare Supplement Plan N Reviews
Medicare Supplement Plan N receives positive reviews from beneficiaries for its affordability and comprehensive coverage. Many policyholders appreciate the balance between lower premiums and robust benefits.
As well, we have seen substantially lower rate increases each year for our clients who are enrolled in Medicare Plan N vs those who have a Plan G. This results in significant savings for them each year.
However, some individuals may prefer other Medigap plans that offer additional coverage, such as Plan G or Plan F, depending on their healthcare needs and budget.
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How to Enroll in Medicare Plan N
Enrolling in Plan N is easy, however, when you can enroll depends on what situation you are currently in.
New to Medicare/Turning age 65:
People who are new to Medicare or just turning age 65 may enroll in Medicare supplement plan N with no medical questions asked. You are guaranteed coverage and cannot be turned down.
This period to enroll is called your 6-month Medigap open enrollment period. It starts on the day your Medicare Part B coverage begins and lasts for six months. During that period you cannot be turned down for any Medigap coverage.
Currently have a Medigap Plan and you’re wanting to save money by switching:
Anyone who already has a Medigap plan may actually apply to change coverage at any time during the year. You do not have to wait until the Medicare open enrollment period in October to apply. So call us today at 1-888-891-0229 and we can help!
Leaving a Medicare Advantage plan to enroll in Medicare Plan N:
If you have an Advantage plan and have been enrolled in one for 12 months or longer, then you will need to wait until October 1st to apply for a Medicare supplement plan N. You will need to answer medical questions on the application and get approved for coverage.
If approved, your coverage with Plan N will begin on January 1st of the following year.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the main difference between Medicare Supplement Plan N and Plan G?
Medicare Plan N does not cover Part B excess charges, and it has copayments for some office and emergency room visits, while Plan G covers Part B excess charges and does not have copayments.
How does Medicare Supplement Plan N compare to Plan F in terms of coverage?
Plan N does not cover the Medicare Part B deductible or Part B excess charges, while Plan F covers both. However, Plan F is no longer available for new Medicare beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.
Can I switch from another Medigap plan to Medicare Supplement Plan N?
Yes, you can switch plans. However, you may be subject to medical underwriting, which could affect your eligibility and premium rates.
Are prescription drug costs covered under Medicare Supplement Plan N?
No, prescription drug costs are not covered by any of the Medigap plans. To obtain prescription drug coverage, consider enrolling in a separate Medicare Part D plan.
Can I use any doctor or hospital with Medicare Supplement Plan N?
Yes, as long as the provider accepts Medicare patients, you can use any doctor or hospital in the United States.
Are Medicare Supplement Plan N rates guaranteed to remain the same each year?
No, premium rates may increase over time due to factors such as inflation, changes in healthcare costs, and age.
Is dental and vision care covered under Medicare Supplement Plan N?
No, Medicare Supplement Plan N does not cover dental and vision care. You may consider purchasing separate dental and vision insurance plans.
How do I file a claim with Medicare Supplement Plan N?
In most cases, your healthcare provider will file the claim directly with Medicare, and then Medicare will send the claim to your insurance company. If necessary, you can also submit a claim directly to your insurance provider.
Are pre-existing conditions covered under Medicare Supplement Plan N?
If you enroll during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, you cannot be denied coverage or charged higher premiums due to pre-existing conditions. If you enroll outside of this period, you may be subject to medical underwriting, which could impact your coverage and rates.
How do I find the best insurance company for Medicare Supplement Plan N?
Research and compare Plan N policies from different insurance providers, considering factors such as premium rates, customer reviews, financial strength, and overall reputation.
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Medicare Supplement Plan N offers a balance between comprehensive coverage and affordability, making it an appealing option for many Medicare beneficiaries. By understanding the benefits, coverage, copays, and enrollment process, you can make an informed decision about whether Plan N is the right choice for your healthcare needs
Regardless of your situation, give us a call today so we can check the rates for Plan N and get the process started. We’ll get you the best plan for the lowest premiums now, and for years to come!
Russell Noga is the CEO of Medisupps.com, an online Medicare Agency and resource center helping Medicare beneficiaries learn about Medicare, Medigap and Part D drug plans, and Medicare Advantage plans since 2009. Russell is licensed in all 50 states and has been featured as a keynote speaker, and author of several publications, along with hosting the very popular Medisupps.com Youtube channel.