- Plan N is a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan that helps with the cost of medical care.
- Federal law ensures that no matter where you purchase your Medigap Plan N, it will include the same coverage.
- The cost for Medigap Plan N may vary based on where you live, when you enroll, and your health.
- Enrolling in Medigap when you are first eligible, around your 65th birthday, is the easiest way to lower your costs.
Medicare Plan N is a Medicare Supplement health insurance plan. Medicare Supplement insurance helps to cover some of the out-of-pocket costs associated with Medicare. While the plan is a standard one, the costs vary by the insurance company and geographic area you live in.
Medicare “plans” are different from Medicare “parts.” Plans are a part of Medicare supplement insurance while Medicare “parts” describe different aspects of care, such as hospital care for Medicare Part A or medical care for Medicare Part B.
Private health insurance companies sell Medigap Plan N. The plans vary based on your geographic location. If you visit the Medicare.gov site and search for Medigap plans, the site can provide you with an estimate of the average costs of Medigap Plan N. The following are some examples of Medigap Plan N costs:
Average cost of Medigap Plan N in several cities
|CIty||Plan N Average Monthly Cost|
|Birmingham, AL||$79 to $149|
|Chicago, IL||$87 to $176|
|Indianapolis, IN||$63 to $900|
|New York, NY||$156 to $265|
|Phoenix, AZ||$87 to $264|
|San Diego, CA||$73 to $231|
|St. Louis, MO||$104 to $196|
As you can see, the costs vary significantly by geographical area. Also, insurance companies are not required to approve you for a Medigap plan unless you are in your open enrollment period.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) mandate that Medigap plans are standardized. This means no matter who sells the plan, the benefits are the same.
For Plan N, these benefits include:
- Part A coinsurance and hospital costs for up to an additional 365 days after you use your Medicare benefits
- Part B coinsurance or copayments, with some exceptions. Plan N may require you to pay $20 for some doctor’s office visits and $50 if you have to go to the emergency room, but aren’t admitted to the hospital
- The first 3 pints of blood you may require
- Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
- Coinsurance for skilled nursing facility care
- Part A deductible
- 80 percent of foreign travel exchange (plan limits apply)
There are some aspects that other Medigap policies cover that plan N may not. Examples include a Part B excess charge. There’s also not an out-of-pocket limit for 2020.
Some states standardize Medicare plans in different ways. These include Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
You can enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan when you are age 65 and enrolled in Medicare Part B. You can only have a Medigap plan if you have original Medicare.
You can’t have both Medicare Advantage and Medigap at the same time. You must choose one if you want additional coverage.
Generally, the least expensive time to buy a Medigap policy is when you are in your Medigap open enrollment period. This is a 6-month period that begins the month you are both age 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B.
A company can not use medical underwriting during the open enrollment period to sell you a policy. This means they cannot consider your overall health and medical conditions when they sell you a policy. The insurance company must sell you the policy for the same price they sell it to people who are in general good health.
You can still purchase a Medigap policy after your Medicare open enrollment period. However, you may have to complete a physical exam or answer other questions about your health before they allow you to purchase the policy. It’s also possible the insurance company could charge you more for the policy than they would to an otherwise healthy person.
People under age 65 have Medicare. This is true if you have a disability or certain medical conditions, such as end stage renal disease. Your ability to purchase a Medigap policy under age 65 depends on the insurance company and your state’s insurance laws.
The government doesn’t sell Medigap policies. You’ll have to buy the policy from a health insurance company. Once you’ve identified an insurer you may like to purchase the plan from, contact the company to apply for a policy.
The insurance company will then let you know what information they may need (such as for medical underwriting if you aren’t in an open enrollment period). If they approve you, they should give you an estimate of how much the monthly premium will be.
help choosing a Medigap plan
If you aren’t sure where to start in purchasing a Medigap plan, there are many resources out there to help you, including:
- CMS. Call 1-800-633-4227 and ask for a copy of the CMS publication “Choosing a Medigap Policy: A Guide to Health Insurance for People With Medicare.”
- Your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). They offer free counseling on Medicare concerns, including Medigap policy purchases. Click here to find your local SHIP phone number.
- Medicare.gov. You can compare Medigap policies. Enter your zip code and location, and you will see all available Medigap N policies in your area.
- A trusted health insurance agent. Ask a local insurance agent about available Medigap Plan N policies in your area.
Once you identify potential insurers for Medigap coverage, contact the insurance company for pricing and any other information you may need.
Medigap Plan N is one example of a standardized Medicare Supplement plan. The plan may help you avoid out-of-pocket costs associated with Medicare.
You can compare plans through sites such as Medicare.gov and by contacting private insurance companies. The most cost-effective time to do this is when you are in your Medicare Supplement open enrollment period in the first 6 months when you have Medicare Part B.
The information on this website may assist you in making personal decisions about insurance, but it is not intended to provide advice regarding the purchase or use of any insurance or insurance products. Healthline Media does not transact the business of insurance in any manner and is not licensed as an insurance company or producer in any U.S. jurisdiction. Healthline Media does not recommend or endorse any third parties that may transact the business of insurance.