by Russell Noga | Updated September 28th, 2023
Navigating the world of Medicare can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to choosing the right supplemental plan. With so many options available, how do you know which one is right for you?
Enter “Medicare Plan N explained”: a popular Medigap policy that offers lower premiums and small copays while filling in many coverage gaps left by Original Medicare.
If you’re seeking a cost-effective solution without compromising on coverage, this might just be the plan you’ve been looking for.
- Medicare Plan N is a Medigap policy offered by private insurers designed to cover out-of-pocket expenses not included in Original Medicare.
- It covers coinsurance, copayments, and other costs associated with Part A & B of Medicare, as well as 80% coverage for foreign travel emergency costs.
- Enrolling within the 6 month open enrollment period is important to avoid costly premiums or rejections of coverage.
Understanding Medicare Plan N
Medicare Plan N is a Medigap policy offered by private insurers designed to assist with out-of-pocket expenses not covered by Original Medicare. This plan features lower premiums and small copays, making it an attractive option for those seeking to mitigate costs without sacrificing coverage.
Monthly premiums for Medicare Supplement Plan N typically average between $100 and $350 per month, with an average of approximately $150 per month.
With such a wide range of benefits, Plan N is suitable for those who utilize Original Medicare for their healthcare needs and wish to cover additional expenses not included in Medicare benefits.
But how exactly do private insurance companies come into play, and how does Plan N complement Original Medicare?
The role of private insurance companies
Private insurance companies offer standardized Medigap plans, including Plan N, to supplement coverage for Original Medicare beneficiaries. Unlike Medicare Advantage plans, which have considerable disparities in plan coverage, all Medigap plans of the same letter possess the same coverage.
This standardization ensures that beneficiaries can easily compare plans and make informed decisions when choosing a supplemental policy, such as a Medicare Advantage plan or the Medigap plan they need.
For example, Cigna is a well-known insurance company that commonly provides Medigap plans A, F, G, and N.
In addition to standard Medigap coverage, Cigna also offers a rewards program as part of its supplemental plan coverage, providing discounts on health and wellness programs and services. This is just one example of how private insurance companies can add value to their Medigap offerings.
How Plan N complements Original Medicare
Plan N supplements Original Medicare by covering coinsurance, copayments, and other out-of-pocket costs, thus making healthcare more affordable through medicare supplement insurance. This plan offers coverage for the majority of expenses incurred when accessing Part A and Part B benefits, making it one of the popular Medicare supplement plans.
However, it’s worth noting that Plan N includes a copayment for physician and emergency room visits, which is not present in other Medigap plans.
This trade-off helps to keep the monthly premiums for Plan N lower than those of some other Medigap plans, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious beneficiaries.
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Key Benefits of Medicare Plan N
Now that we understand the basics of Medicare Plan N let’s delve into the key benefits it offers.
- Coverage for coinsurance and hospital costs associated with Medicare Part A
- Copays and coinsurance charges for Part B benefits
- 80% coverage of foreign travel emergency costs
These benefits can significantly reduce the financial burden on beneficiaries and provide peace of mind during their healthcare journey.
Coinsurance and hospital costs
One of the primary benefits of Medicare Plan N is its coverage for coinsurance and hospital costs associated with Medicare Part A. Coinsurance is the percentage of costs of a covered health care service that you are responsible for paying after the deductible has been satisfied.
Under Plan N, beneficiaries are covered for:
- 100% of Medicare Part B coinsurance costs
- $20 copayment for office visits
- $50 copayment for emergency room visits that do not necessitate inpatient admission
This coverage can help alleviate the financial burden for beneficiaries when it comes to hospital stays and other medical expenses.
Foreign travel emergency coverage
Another key benefit of Medicare Plan N is its coverage for foreign travel emergencies. Plan N offers coverage of 80% of emergency medical expenses incurred during foreign travel, providing beneficiaries with peace of mind when traveling abroad.
Foreign travel emergency coverage is of great importance as it provides reimbursement for emergency medical expenses while traveling abroad, including medical evacuations, emergency medical care, and other necessary services in the event of a medical emergency.
It is pertinent to note that not all health insurance plans provide this coverage; hence it may be necessary to purchase additional travel medical insurance for comprehensive protection during international travel.
Limitations of Medicare Plan N
While Medicare Plan N offers numerous benefits, it’s important to be aware of its limitations. Plan N does not provide coverage for Part B deductible, excess charges, and certain copayments, which could lead to additional out-of-pocket expenses.
It is important to consider these potential costs when deciding if Plan N is the right choice.
Exclusions and uncovered expenses
Medicare Plan N does not include the Part B deductible, excess charges, and certain copayments, which may lead to extra out-of-pocket costs. For example, Plan N does not cover the Medicare Part B deductible or coinsurance for physician office and emergency room visits.
It’s essential to understand these exclusions when considering Plan N, as they can impact your overall healthcare expenses.
Be sure to weigh the cost savings of lower premiums against the potential out-of-pocket costs from uncovered services.
Copayments for doctor visits and ER trips
Beneficiaries of Plan N are obligated to pay copayments for doctor visits and ER trips, which can accumulate over time. Under Medicare Plan N, the copayments for doctor visits are up to $20.
While these copayments may seem small, they can add up quickly, especially for those with frequent doctor visits or emergency room trips.
It’s essential to consider these copayments when determining whether Plan N is the right choice for you, as they may impact your overall healthcare expenses.
Comparing Medicare Plan N with Other Medigap Plans
Now that we have a solid understanding of the benefits and limitations of Medicare Plan N, let’s compare it with other Medigap plans to help you make an informed decision.
We’ll focus on two popular alternatives: Plan G and Plan F.
Plan N vs. Plan G
When contrasting Plan N and Plan G, one can observe disparities in premiums, coverage, and out-of-pocket costs, with Plan N being more economical and Plan G providing more extensive coverage.
For example, the monthly premium for Plan N is $89, while the monthly premium for Standard Plan G can be as high as $250 to $300 in certain states.
However, Plan G covers Medicare Part B excess charges, which Plan N does not. This means that if you expect to encounter excess charges frequently, you may want to consider Plan G for more comprehensive coverage.
Ultimately, the choice between Plan N and Plan G depends on your individual healthcare needs and budget.
Plan N vs. Plan F
Plan N provides comparable benefits to Plan F; however, it is a more economical option for those who became eligible for Medicare after 2020 due to its decreased premium.
Plan F covers the Medicare Part B deductible and additional charges, whereas Plan N does not.
While Plan F offers more comprehensive coverage, its higher premiums may not be worth the added benefits for some beneficiaries.
Considering your specific healthcare needs and budget will help you determine which plan is right for you.
Choosing the Right Insurance Provider for Medicare Plan N
With a better understanding of Medicare Plan N and its alternatives, the next step is to choose the right insurance provider.
When selecting an insurance provider for Medicare Plan N, one should take into account factors such as:
- Provider networks
- Reputation and customer service
- Additional benefits
It is important to compare different providers to find the best fit for your needs.
Evaluating insurance carriers
When selecting an insurance provider for Medicare Plan N, it is important to consider factors such as cost, customer service, and additional benefits offered by carriers.
Assessing cost involves factors such as network coverage, reputation and financial stability, and prescription drug coverage.
In terms of customer service, one should take into account factors such as response time, helpfulness, and availability. Additionally, carriers may provide discounts on vision and dental care, access to fitness centers, and discounts on health-related products as additional benefits.
Evaluating these factors can help you make an informed decision when choosing an insurance carrier for Medicare Plan N.
Top Medicare Plan N providers
Prominent providers of Medicare Plan N include:
- Aetna: competitive premiums and a vast network of providers, but customer service may be unsatisfactory
- Cigna: excellent customer service, but premiums can be more expensive than other providers
- AARP/UnitedHealthcare: a wide variety of extra benefits, but premiums can be more expensive than other providers
Comparing the pros and cons of these top providers can help you make an informed decision when selecting an insurance provider for Medicare Plan N.
Enrolling in Medicare Plan N
Once you’ve chosen the right insurance provider for Medicare Plan N, the final step is enrolling in the plan.
Enrollment begins on the first day of your 65th birthday month. It ends six months after your birthday month.
It’s crucial to be aware of enrollment deadlines and consequences to ensure a smooth and cost-effective transition into your new healthcare plan.
Open enrollment period
The open enrollment period for Medicare Plan N is the 6-month “Medigap Open Enrollment” period commencing upon the commencement of Medicare Part B.
This period is the optimal time to enroll in Medicare Plan N, as it allows beneficiaries to choose a Medigap policy without facing medical underwriting or higher premiums based on pre-existing conditions.
It’s essential to be aware of the open enrollment period and enroll in a timely manner to avoid potential penalties and ensure you receive the coverage you need.
Late enrollment consequences
Enrolling in Medicare Plan N after the deadline may lead to increased premiums or rejection of coverage based on medical underwriting.
The penalty fee is typically a percentage of the monthly premium and is calculated based on the number of years one has delayed enrolling in Medicare Part B without having another form of creditable coverage.
To avoid these consequences, it’s crucial to enroll in Medicare Plan N within the open enrollment period or ensure you have other creditable coverage in place if you decide to delay enrollment.
In conclusion, Medicare Plan N is a popular Medicare policy designed to help beneficiaries cover out-of-pocket expenses not covered by Original Medicare.
It offers lower premiums and small copays while providing coverage for coinsurance, copayments, and foreign travel emergency costs.
However, it’s important to be aware of the limitations, such as the lack of coverage for Part B deductible, excess charges, and certain copayments.
Comparing Plan N with other Medigap plans and choosing the right insurance provider are essential steps in making an informed decision about your healthcare coverage.
By enrolling during the open enrollment period, you can ensure a smooth transition into your new healthcare plan and avoid potential penalties.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is Medicare Plan N?
Medicare Plan N is a type of Medicare Supplement insurance plan that helps cover healthcare costs not paid for by Original Medicare, Part A, and Part B.
How does Medicare Plan N differ from other Medicare Supplement plans?
Medicare Plan N offers comprehensive coverage, including hospitalization, medical services, and some emergency care. It requires copayments and has a lower premium compared to some other plans.
What does Medicare Plan N cover?
Plan N covers Part A coinsurance and hospital costs, Part B coinsurance or copayment, blood transfusions, and hospice care. It also includes skilled nursing facility care and limited coverage for foreign travel emergencies.
Are there any out-of-pocket costs with Medicare Plan N?
Yes, Medicare Plan N requires you to pay copayments for some services, including up to $20 for doctor’s visits and up to $50 for emergency room visits that do not result in an inpatient admission.
Is Medicare Plan N a good choice for people who want comprehensive coverage with some cost-sharing?
Yes, it can be an excellent option for those who want robust coverage while being willing to share some costs through copayments.
Can I choose any doctor or hospital with Medicare Plan N?
Yes, you can see any healthcare provider who accepts Medicare patients, giving you flexibility in choosing your healthcare providers.
Are prescription drugs covered under Medicare Plan N?
Prescription drugs are not covered by Medicare Plan N. To get prescription drug coverage, you would need to enroll in a separate Medicare Part D plan.
Is there a yearly deductible with Medicare Plan N?
Yes, Medicare Plan N has a Part B deductible that you are responsible for paying each year before the plan starts covering your expenses.
Can I switch from another Medicare Supplement plan to Medicare Plan N?
Yes, you can switch to Medicare Plan N if it’s available in your area. However, you should compare the benefits and costs carefully before making the switch.
How do I enroll in Medicare Plan N?
To enroll in Medicare Plan N, you must already have Original Medicare, Part A, and Part B. Then, you can contact insurance providers offering Plan N in your area and sign up during the Open Enrollment Period or a Special Enrollment Period if you qualify.
Find the Right Medicare Plan for You
Finding the right Medicare plan doesn’t have to be difficult. Whether it’s a Medigap plan, or you have questions about Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D, we can help.
Call now at 1-888-891-0229 and one of our knowledgeable, licensed insurance agents will be happy to assist you!
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.