Jessica Fox Last Updated On: June 27, 2023

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Medicare Supplement Plan N: Is It The Best Option For You?

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It’s easy to protect your health by getting Medicare, but what isn’t so simple is ensuring you have the right coverage. And when it comes to navigating Medicare and Medicare Supplemental Coverage, or Medigap, it can get confusing as many of the Supplemental Plans are so similar.

Most people or insurers will argue that the most comprehensive or “expensive” plan, like Plan G is your best option. But if you’re after a more economical but equally smart choice, we’ve got another choice for you: Medicare Supplement Plan N.

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What Are Medicare Supplemental Plans?

Before delving into the particulars of Medicare Supplemental Plans, let’s review Medigap coverage.

When you turn the golden age of 65, you enter the age of eligibility for Original Medicare, federal healthcare insurance that includes Plan A (hospital trips) and Plan B (medical coverage) coverage. Original Medicare provides basic and affordable healthcare; however, it won’t cover all your healthcare costs the same way Medicare Advantage or Medicare with supplemental Medigap coverage does. Medicare Supplemental Plans are available for purchase through Medicare-approved insurance companies.

Your Guide To Medigap Plan N

What Is Medicare Supplement Plan N?

Medigap Plan N is an affordable Medicare Supplement offered by private insurance companies that helps keep your out-of-pocket healthcare expenses (coinsurance, copays) to a minimum. Medigap was created to fill the Medicare “gaps” in coverage, so no matter which insurance provider you buy Medicare Supplement Plan N from, it’s standardized, so it’ll be the same coverage across all the states.

However, not every state and insurance company offers Medigap Plan N, so always be sure to check with your local insurance provider to see if it’s available to you.

What Medicare Supplement Plan N Covers?

This is a full breakdown of what Medicare Supplement Plan N covers.

Part A Medicare Coinsurance Part A Medicare Coinsurance
Part A Hospice Coinsurance/Copay Covers hospice coinsurance and copayment costs
Blood (First 3 Pints) Plan N will pay for the first 3 pints of blood during a procedure per year
Part B Coinsurance/Copay Will pay coinsurance or copayments, except:
- Up to $20 copay for some doctors visits
- Up to $50 copay for ER trips that don’t require inpatient admission
Skilled Nursing Coinsurance Plan N will pay the coinsurance cost for skilled nursing
Part A Deductible Plan N covers the cost of deductibles
Part B Deductible Due to a new law, all Medigap plans are no longer permitted to cover the Part B deductible
Foreign Travel Exchange Like the more expensive Plans, Plan N covers 80% of out-of-country medical expenses
Cost $146- $289 a month

Medigap Stipulations

If you’re in the market for Medigap, these are the things you ought to know about Supplemental coverage:

  • Best Price Guaranteed: To receive the best possible price you want to enroll in Medigap during your First Time Open Enrollment period. This period starts the month you turn 65 and runs for 6 months. During First Time Open Enrollment insurance companies cannot ask about your current state of health, so you’ll get coverage no matter what. If you purchase supplemental coverage outside this window, you’re subject to medical underwriting and could pay higher premiums or be denied coverage.
  • Original Medicare: To be eligible for Plan N, you must be enrolled in Original Medicare and not Medicare Advantage.
  • Single Person Coverage: Medicare Supplemental Plans are created for one person, so if your partner also requires coverage, they will need to purchase their own Medigap Plan.
  • Guaranteed Renewal: Once you have a Medicare Supplemental Plan, it’s guaranteed renewal as long as you keep up with your payments — even if your health changes.
  • Doesn’t Cover Everything: As of 2006, Medigap Plans don’t offer prescription drug coverage. Supplemental Plans also do not cover hearing aids, long-term care, vision, or dental care.

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How Medicare Supplement Plan N Compares To Other Plans?

Now that you know the benefits of purchasing Medigap Plan N to supplement your Original Medicare, how does it rate against the rest of the Medigap family of Plans?

To make comparing Plans easier we’ve highlighted Plan N.

Part A Medicare Coinsurance Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Part A Hospice Coinsurance/Copay Yes Yes Yes Yes 50% 75% Yes Yes
Blood (First 3 Pints) Yes Yes Yes Yes 50% 75% Yes Yes
Part B Copay Or Coinsurance Yes Yes Yes Yes 50% 75% Yes Yes
Skilled Nursing Coinsurance No No Yes Yes 50% 75% Yes Yes
Part A Deductible No Yes Yes Yes 50% 75% 50% Yes
Part B Deductible No No No No No No No No
Foreign Travel Exchange No No 80% 80% No No 80% 80%
Average Monthly Cost $147- $784 $202- $726 $221- $515 $199- $473 $62- $135 $119- $301 $201- $430 $146- $289

How Plan N Compares To The Popular Plan G?

When it comes to comparing Plan N to the more common Plan G, just looking at this chart, it may seem like the main difference is cost; however, there are some minor distinctions:

  • More Expensive Premiums: With Plan G, you will pay higher premiums.
  • Medicare Part B Coinsurance: This is perhaps one of the biggest distinguishing factors between Plan N and Plan G. With Plan G your Part B coinsurance costs are covered. In contrast, with Plan N, you’ll pay up to $20 for some doctor’s visits and up to $50 for hospital visits that don’t result in inpatient admission.
    • Why This Matters: For persons with chronic health conditions that need more frequent medical care, Plan N costs could add up to hefty annual out-of-pocket costs. But for policyholders that don’t need medical care as often, these small expenses may not be a problem.
  • Medicare Excess Charge: For states where excess charges are permitted, Plan G will cover these charges while Plan N will not. Excess charges occur when a doctor bills for above the Medicare-approved rate — usually, this is the case for doctors that don’t accept assignments. This problem can be avoided by asking your doctor or lab if they accept Medicare assignment — if not, go elsewhere if possible.

Which Medigap Plan Is Right For You?

When it comes to determining which Medicare Supplemental Coverage is best for you, it boils down to your circumstances:

  • How much can you comfortably afford?
  • Do you have any chronic conditions? 
  • Do you frequently require medical treatment?
  • Do you care about paying out-of-pocket fees?

Once you determine what you need from your Medigap policy, then you can confidently make the right choice for you!

Is Medigap Plan N The Best Option For You?

When it comes to figuring out the best Medicare Supplemental Plan for you, with so many to choose from, it can be challenging figuring out the perfect plan for your healthcare needs. For some, safety means full coverage, so they opt for Plan G that comes with all the bells and whistles — as well as higher premiums — while for others they may want broad coverage at a cheaper rate-making Plan N the best bet.

We can’t tell you the best Medigap Plan for you. So instead, it’s up to you to inform yourself on the Plan differences so you can confidently decide on the Medicare Supplemental Plan that best fits your needs!

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Jessica Fox Jessica Fox has been a freelance writer for five years, with a specialty in health, wellness, and insurance. During this time, she’s written for some of the biggest B2B and B2C brands from around the world. Jessica is also the mother of two young daughters and loves coffee, writing, and working out.

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