Plan N is a type of supplemental insurance for Medicare, also known as Medigap plans. These plans help cover certain health care costs that come with Medicare, such as deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. Without a supplemental plan, you would have to pay those expenses.
Plan N is one of ten Medicare supplement plans available to new Medicare enrollees. The plans are named by letter, ranging from A to N.
Plan N is a relatively new offering. It first became available in June 2010. Enrollment in Plan N has been growing steadily each year. In 2016 (the most recent data available), Plan N was the third-most popular plan, with 9% of Medigap enrollees choosing it.
For a complete overview of Medicare supplement plans and how they work, check out our Medicare Supplement Plans Guide.
Plan N: Who is it for?
- People who want a balance of cost and coverage. Plan N provides substantial coverage while offering low monthly premiums.
- People who can be flexible about the doctors they see. If a Plan N enrollee sees a provider who doesn’t participate in Medicare, they will pay a little more. Therefore, people with Plan N need to choose their providers carefully.
- People who travel to foreign countries. Plan N covers 80% of emergency health care costs while in another country after a $250 deductible.1
Example: William is 64, and planning to retire next year. He’s decided to apply for Medicare Part A and Part B, and he’s researching Medicare supplement plans. Heart disease runs in his family, so William visits the doctor regularly. However, he is open to switching providers if it will save him money. He and his wife have been saving up for a retirement full of travel. William decides to purchase Medigap Plan N, as it will charge lower premiums yet still provide coverage for any health emergencies while he is out of the country.
What Plan N covers
|Part A coinsurance and hospital costs (for 365 days after Original Medicare benefits are used up)||100%|
|Part B coinsurance or copayment||100%|
|Blood (first 3 pints)||100%|
|Part A hospice coinsurance or copayment||100%|
|Skilled nursing facility coinsurance (for 80 days)||100%|
|Part A deductible||100%|
|Part B deductible||Not covered|
|Part B excess charges||Not covered|
|Foreign travel exchange (for emergencies)||80%|
Table created using information available at medicare.gov as of 5/10/19.
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Part B copayments and coinsurance
Plan N is most similar in coverage to Plan D. The only difference is that Plan N enrollees are responsible for some cost-sharing when they go to the doctor ($20) or emergency room ($50).2
Part B deductible
When reviewing the chart above, it might seem that not covering the Part B deductible is a mark against Plan N. However, it’s important to note that starting in 2020, no Medicare Supplement plan available to new enrollees will cover Part B deductibles. Learn more about Part B deductible coverage.
Part B excess charges
Plan N does not cover Part B excess charges. When a provider doesn’t accept Medicare assignment (doesn’t participate in Medicare), they can charge 15% more than standard Medicare rates.3 People on Plan N may be required to pay that difference in cost.
That means people with Plan N have to be careful about the doctors they choose to avoid those higher payments.
Emergency health care costs while traveling abroad
Not all Medicare supplement plans cover foreign travel emergencies, but Plan N is among just six that do. Plan N pays for health care costs at the same level as all other plans that cover it: 80% after a $250 deductible.4 (There is no Medigap plan that covers 100% of those costs.)
No out-of-pocket limit
Some plans require that you meet an out-of-pocket limit before they provide full coverage. Plan N has no such limit.
Medicare Supplement Plan N: What you need to know before enrolling
Before you can sign up for Plan N, you must enroll in both Medicare Part A and Part B. The best time to enroll in Plan N is during your Medigap open enrollment period. That’s the six months immediately after you turn 65 and sign up for Part B, when you’re guaranteed access to Medicare Supplement plans by federal law. You can enroll in or switch Medicare Supplement plans at other times, but the insurance companies can deny you or charge you more based on your health.
Most Medigap plans are standardized across the nation. However, if you live in Massachusetts, Minnesota, or Wisconsin, different types of plans are available.
Get Medigap Plan N
Medicare Supplement Plan N is a solid plan that provides substantial coverage with relatively low premiums. If you think Plan N may be the right choice for you, get a quote or speak with a licensed agent.
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