Kelly Blackwell is a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®. She has been a healthcare professional for over 30 years, with experience working as a bedside nurse and as a Clinical Manager. She has a passion for educating, assisting and advising seniors throughout the healthcare process.
Medicare Supplement Plan N, also called Medigap Plan N, is an insurance plan you can purchase to supplement Original Medicare. As with all of the Medigap plans, Plan N is standardized, must follow federal and state rules, and is administered by Medicare-approved private insurance companies. It helps pay for most out of pocket costs you incur when you receive your Original Medicare Part A and B benefits.
Plan N is widely available across the United States, but pricing and number of plans you have to choose from vary depending on insurer and your state of residence. Plan N is standardized in a different way In Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, compared to the rest of the states.
Unlike Medigap Plan G, another popular option which provides more comprehensive coverage, Plan N does not cover excess charges from providers who charge more than the Medicare-approved amount for services. Plan N costs less per month than Plan G, but includes a copay for doctor visits and emergency room visits that don’t result in an inpatient hospital stay.
Who Should Get a Medicare Supplement Plan N?
A Medicare Supplement Plan N may be a good choice for you if you:
- Have Original Medicare and want coverage for most out of pocket expenses you incur when you receive your Part A and Part B benefits.
- Want to see any Medicare provider in the U.S. If you use providers who accept Medicare assignment, you can avoid excess charges.
- Want a lower monthly premium and are willing to pay a copay for doctor and emergency room visits.
What is Medicare Supplement Plan N?
Medicare Supplement Plan N (Medigap Plan N) is one of nine standardized insurance plans that are available for Original Medicare beneficiaries who became eligible for Medicare after January 1, 2020. (Plans C, F, and high-deductible F are only available for beneficiaries who were eligible for Medicare prior to January 1 2020).
Plan N offers coverage for most out of pocket expenses you incur when you access your Part A and Part B benefits. Unlike other Medigap plans, Plan N includes a copay for doctor and emergency room visits.
|Plan structure||Supplemental insurance plan that covers most of the out of pocket costs associated with Medicare Parts A and B. Plan pays after Medicare pays.|
|Benefits available||Coinsurance and copayments for Part A inpatient and Part B outpatient services. Some copays apply. Part A deductible, Part A hospice copays, and 80% of foreign travel emergency expenses.|
|Cost sharing||You pay a monthly premium which may increase each year depending on your age or inflation. You are responsible for the Part B annual deductible and copays for some office and emergency room visits.|
How Medigap Plan N works
Plan N helps fill in “gaps” in Original Medicare and is issued by Medicare-approved private insurance companies. Plan N will pay for costs that remain after Original Medicare pays it’s portion for services received. For instance, if you are hospitalized, you are charged a Part A deductible per benefit period. Plan N will cover that expense, plus hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after your Medicare benefits are used up.
Plan N pays for copays and coinsurance charges for Part B benefits, but you may pay a copay. For instance, if you see your physician, Medicare pays for 80% of approved charges, and Plan N covers the rest after you pay a $20 copay. If you go to the emergency room and are not admitted to the hospital, Plan N pays for 80% of approved charges, and you pay a $50 copay. Plan N also pays for 80% of foreign travel emergency costs, which is not covered by Medicare.
As long as you continue to pay your monthly premiums, your Plan N will remain in effect.
Plan N is one of the expanded supplemental options created in the 2010 Medicare Modernization Act, says Chris Alberta, president and CEO of Principium Tactical Wealth Management in Brighton, Michigan. He says it has since become the most popular copay-oriented option. It’s about 25% cheaper than Plan G, Alberta says. This can make it an appealing option for “budget-conscious folks who are in relatively good health.”
Benefits available with a Medigap Plan N
- Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
- Part B copays and insurance (copays for some office and emergency room visits)
- First three pints of blood
- Part A hospice
- Skilled nursing facilities
- Part A deductible
- 80% of foreign travel emergencies
|Advantages of Medigap Plan N||Disadvantages of Medigap Plan N|
Compare your Medicare Supplement options
|Medigap Benefits||Plan A||Plan B||Plan C||Plan D||Plan F*||Plan G*||Plan
|Plan M||Plan N|
|Part A coinsurance and hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used up||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Part B coinsurance or copayment||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||50%||75%||Yes||Yes***|
|Blood (first 3 pints)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||50%||75%||Yes||Yes|
|Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||50%||75%||Yes||Yes|
|Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||50%||75%||Yes||Yes|
|Part A deductible||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||50%||75%||50%||Yes|
|Part B deductible||No||No||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||No||No||No|
|Part B excess charge||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Foreign travel exchange (up to plan limits)||No||No||80%||80%||80%||80%||No||No||80%||80%|
|Out-of-pocket limit**||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||$6,620 in 2022||$3,310 in 2022||N/A||N/A|
* Plans F and G also offer a high-deductible plan in some states. With this option, you must pay for Medicare-covered costs (coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles) up to the deductible amount of $2,490 in 2022 before your policy pays anything. (Plans C and F aren’t available to people who were newly eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020.)
** For Plans K and L, after you meet your out-of-pocket yearly limit and your yearly Part B deductible, the Medigap plan pays 100% of covered services for the rest of the calendar year.
*** Plan N pays 100% of the Part B coinsurance, except for a copayment of up to $20 for some office visits and up to a $50 copayment for emergency room visits that don’t result in inpatient admission.
Who is Eligible for a Medigap Plan N?
Anyone who is eligible for Medicare and enrolled in Part A and Part B may be eligible to purchase Medigap Plan N. If you miss your Medigap Open Enrollment period, you may not be able to purchase a policy depending on your health condition. You cannot have a Medigap policy and a Medicare Advantage Plan at the same time.
How Much Does a Medigap Plan N Cost?
You pay a monthly premium for Plan N. This premium varies depending on when you purchase your policy, how it is priced, and in which state you reside. Because Medigap plans are offered through private insurance companies, the companies set their own premiums. Monthly premium costs may increase each year based on age, inflation, or other factors.
The other variable costs associated with Plan N include copays for some office and emergency room visits and excess charges from providers who don’t accept Medicare assignment. If you access your Part B benefits, you will pay the annual Part B deductible ($233 in 2022).
See how costs and plan availability compare for these Medigap Plans N for a 65-year-old female who doesn’t use tobacco in three different states in 2022:
|State||Monthly premium range||Number of Plans available|
|Illinois||$81 to $350||66 total:
*62 (attained age)
~1 (issue age)
|Colorado||$77 to $341||54 total
*49 (attained age)
~1 (issue age)
|California||$98 to $210||28 total
*25 (attained age)
^1 (issue age)
*Attained age pricing: Premiums are low for younger buyers, but go up as you get older and can eventually become the most expensive.
^Community pricing: Premiums are the same no matter how old you are. Premiums may go up because of inflation and other factors.
~Issue age pricing: Premiums are low for younger buyers and won’t change as you get older.
How Do I Enroll in a Medigap Plan N?
In general, you will get the best price for Medicare Supplemental Insurance if you purchase a plan as soon as you are eligible for Medicare and enrolled in Parts A and B. Medigap Open Enrollment starts on the first day of the month that you turn 65 and are enrolled in both Parts A and B and lasts for six months. An insurance company is not allowed to use medical underwriting to decide whether to accept your application or change the price during this time.
To enroll in a Medigap Plan N, contact the insurance company to make sure you are in your open enrollment period or have guaranteed issue rights. Complete the application and determine when you want your policy to start.
Who Should Get a Medigap Plan N?
If you rely on Original Medicare for your healthcare coverage, you should consider Plan N to offset the portion of costs that Medicare doesn’t pay. Plan N gives you freedom of choice of providers because you can see any Medicare provider in the U.S. If you choose providers who accept Medicare-approved charges, Plan N will cover most of your out of pocket costs. If you travel abroad, you have some coverage for emergency care. Plan N as a Medicare supplement may be a good choice for you if you want lower monthly premiums and are willing to pay copays when you need office visits or emergency room care.
Learn More From Our Sources
- Medicare | What’s Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap)? | Last accessed January 2022
- Medicare | How to Compare Medigap policies | Last accessed January 2022
- Medicare | Costs of Medigap Policies | Last accessed January 2022
- Medicare | Guaranteed Issue Rights for Medigap | Last accessed January 2022
- Medicare | Lower Costs With Assignment | Last accessed January 2022
- Medicare | Find a Medigap Policy That Works For You | Last accessed January 2022