As we age, the importance of having comprehensive health insurance becomes increasingly evident. One popular option for seniors in the United States is the Medigap plan, which supplements Original Medicare coverage. Medigap Plan N is one of several Medigap plans available, and in this blog post, we’ll break down what Plan N covers, how it differs from other Medigap plans, and whether it might be right for you.
What is Medigap Plan N?
Medigap Plan N is a type of Medicare Supplement insurance. It covers a range of out-of-pocket costs that are not covered by Original Medicare, such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. Plan N is similar to other Medigap plans in that it is sold by private insurance companies, but it differs in terms of what it covers and how much it costs.
What does Plan N cover?
Plan N covers several of the out-of-pocket costs associated with Original Medicare, including:
- Part A coinsurance and hospital costs: Plan N covers the coinsurance costs for hospital stays of up to 365 days.
- Part B coinsurance and copayments: Plan N covers 100% of the Part B coinsurance, except for a copayment of up to $20 for some office visits and up to $50 for emergency room visits that don’t result in an inpatient admission.
- Blood: Plan N covers the first three pints of blood per year.
- Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment: Plan N covers the coinsurance or copayment associated with hospice care under Part A.
- Skilled nursing facility coinsurance: Plan N covers the coinsurance costs associated with a stay in a skilled nursing facility.
- Part A deductible: Plan N covers the Part A deductible, which is $1,600 in 2023.
- Part B deductible: Plan N does not cover the Part B deductible, which is $226 in 2023.
- Part B excess charges: Plan N does not cover excess charges, which are charges from healthcare providers that exceed the Medicare-approved amount.
- Foreign travel emergency costs: Plan N will cover foreign travel emergency costs up to the plan’s limits.
How does Plan N compare to other Medigap plans?
Plan N is similar to other Medigap plans, such as Plan F and Plan G, in that it covers many of the same out-of-pocket costs associated with Original Medicare. However, there are some key differences to consider:
- Cost-sharing: Unlike Plan F, which covers all out-of-pocket costs, Plan N requires some cost-sharing in the form of copayments and coinsurance.
- Premiums: Plan N typically has lower monthly premiums than Plan F or Plan G, but this is offset by the cost-sharing requirements.
- Part B excess charges: Plan F and Plan G both cover excess charges, but Plan N does not.
- Part B deductible: Plan F covers the Part B deductible, but Plan N does not. However, because of the fact that plan F covers Part B deductible which isn’t an option anymore with any Medigap plan, it is not available for new Medicare beneficiaries (who weren’t eligible prior to the 1st of January 2020).
Is Plan N right for me?
Whether Plan N is the right choice for you depends on your individual needs and budget. Here are a few things to consider:
Cost-sharing: If you don’t mind paying copayments and coinsurance in exchange for lower premiums, Plan N may be a good option for you.
Excess charges: If you are concerned about excess charges, you may want to consider Plan F (if eligible) or Plan G instead. However, excess charges can avoid easily and are very rare. You just need to check if a doctor or hospital accepts Medicare terms, which many of them do.
Part B deductible: If you are willing to pay the Part B deductible out of pocket, Plan N will be a good choice for you.
Budget: Plan N typically has lower monthly premiums than other Medigap plans, but you’ll need to factor in the cost-sharing requirements when making your decision.
Overall, Medigap Plan N can be a great option for those who want comprehensive coverage for their healthcare expenses without paying the higher premiums associated with some other Medigap plans. However, it’s important to keep in mind that Plan N does require some cost-sharing in the form of copayments and coinsurance, so it may not be the best option if you expect to have a lot of medical expenses.
When to Enroll in Medigap Plan N?
You can enroll in a Medigap Plan N at any time, but there are some important things to consider when deciding when to enroll:
Open Enrollment Period: The best time to enroll in a Medigap Plan N is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, which starts on the first day of the month you turn 65 and are enrolled in Medicare Part B. During this time, insurance companies cannot deny you coverage or charge you higher premiums due to pre-existing conditions.
Guaranteed Issue Rights: You may also be eligible for a guaranteed issue right to enroll in a Medigap Plan N outside of the Open Enrollment Period, such as if you lose your existing coverage or move out of your plan’s service area.
Cost: You should also consider the cost of the Medigap Plan N premiums, which can vary depending on your location, age, and other factors. Compare plans from different insurers to find the best deal for you.
Your health needs: Finally, you should consider your health needs and whether a Medigap Plan N would provide you with the coverage you need. This plan may be a good option if you’re willing to pay a small copay for doctor visits and emergency room visits but want to save money on premiums compared to other Medigap plans.
It’s important to note that if you enroll in a Medigap Plan N after your Open Enrollment Period or guaranteed issue period has ended, you may be subject to medical underwriting, which could result in higher premiums or being denied coverage altogether.
Medigap Plan N can be a great option for those who want comprehensive coverage for their healthcare expenses without paying the higher premiums associated with some other Medigap plans. However, it’s important to carefully consider your individual needs and budget before enrolling in any Medigap plan. Be sure to do your research, compare plans and premiums, and talk to a licensed insurance agent to make an informed decision about which plan is right for you. By doing so, you can ensure that you have the coverage you need to protect your health and your finances in your golden years.