Medicare Supplement Part N
Medicare Supplemental Plan N is one of 10 standardized Medigap plans available in most states. Like other Medigap basic benefits, this plan helps with certain costs that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, including cost-sharing expenses you may have for hospital services or doctor visits.
Like other Medigap plans in most states, Plan N offers standardized benefits. This means that you’ll get the exact same basic benefits for Plan N, no matter where you live or which insurance company you purchase the policy from.
Plan N covers the following benefits:
Medicare Part A hospital coinsurance and other costs up to an additional 365 days after Original Medicare benefits are exhausted
Medicare Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
Medicare Part A deductible
Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayments (except for a copayment of up to $20 for some office visits and up to a $50 copayment for emergency room visits that do not result in inpatient admission)
First three pints of blood used in a medical procedure (yearly)
Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
Foreign travel emergency care (80%, up to plan limits)
Medicare Supplement Plan N costs
As mentioned, beneficiaries enrolled in Plan N will still be responsible for cost sharing in certain situations. You may have to pay a copayment of up to $20 for doctor visits and up to $50 if you go to the emergency room and aren’t admitted as a hospital inpatient. Additionally, Medicare Supplemental Plan N doesn’t cover the Part B deductible or any Part B excess charges, so you’ll be responsible for paying these costs yourself.
As mentioned, basic benefits for Plan N are standardized, so basic benefits will be the same for this plan, regardless of insurance company or location. However, because Medicare Supplement plans are sold by private insurance companies, costs for each plan may differ by location and company (even for identical basic benefits).
If you’re considering a Medigap plan, it’s always important to pay attention to not just the premium cost when you first join the plan, but how the insurance company prices (or “rates”) its premiums. Medigap insurance companies may use one of three pricing methods to set their premium costs: community-rated, issue-age-rated, or attained-age-rated:
Community-rated: Plans charge the same premiums for all beneficiaries, regardless of age.
Issue-age-rated: Plans base premiums on your age when you first enroll or are “issued” your Medicare Supplement plan. Premiums don’t increase with age.
Attained-age: These plans base premiums on your current age, and premium costs increase as you get older. These plans can often end up being the most expensive in the long run, since costs go up with your age.
As you can see, premiums may widely differ depending on the method the insurance company uses to set its prices. Keep in mind that, regardless of the pricing method, all insurance companies may raise premium costs to adjust for inflation. Make sure you understand how the insurance company rates its premiums, so that you have an accurate idea of how much you’ll pay for your Medigap plan both now and in the long-term.
Medicare Supplement Plan N eligibility and enrollment
Like other Medigap plans, you’re eligible to enroll in Plan N if:
You are enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B
There is a Plan N available in your service area.
The best time to enroll in Medigap Plan N is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, which is the six-month period that automatically starts on the first day of the month that you are both 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. During this time, you have a guaranteed-issue right to enroll in any Medigap plan available in your service area, regardless of any pre-existing conditions* or disabilities you may have. Insurance companies aren’t allowed to reject you based on your medical status or charge you more if you have health problems. After your Medigap Open Enrollment Period is over, you may have more difficulty enrolling in a Medicare Supplement plan (or switching plans) if you have health problems. Insurance companies are also allowed to use medical underwriting after this period and may charge you higher premiums based on your health status. You may also be denied coverage entirely due to your health status.