• Medicare Supplement Plan F and Plan N are similar except that Plan F covers your Medicare Part B deductible.
  • Plan F is no longer available to new Medicare enrollees as of January 1, 2020.
  • If you already had Plan F prior to January 1, 2020, you may keep it.

Medicare Plan F and Medicare Plan N are two kinds of Medigap plans. Medigap is also known as Medicare Supplement Insurance.

Medigap is supplemental insurance that you may be able to buy from a private insurer. Medigap covers some of the expenses that original Medicare doesn’t, such as deductibles, copays, and coinsurance.

Plan F and Plan N are both popular Medigap options, but there are very specific differences between the two. If you are looking for an option to replace a Medicare F plan, plan N is one to consider.

If you are looking for a Medigap plan that gives you peace of mind, plus will work within your budget, here’s what you need to know.

Medigap plans fill in some of the financial, out-of-pocket gaps you’re responsible for, if you have original Medicare, which is comprised of Part A and Part B. There are 11 Medigap plans to choose from, although not every plan is available in every area.

Out-of-pocket gaps can add up. For example, original Medicare covers 80 percent of the cost of Medicare-approved medical services. Medigap plans can cover all or some of the remaining 20 percent.

Medigap plans have different premium costs, depending upon which one you choose. They all offer the same basic benefits, although some plans provide more coverage than others. In general, Medigap plans cover all or a percentage of:

  • copays
  • coinsurance
  • deductibles
  • emergency medical care outside of the U.S.

As of January 1, 2020, what Medigap plans do not cover is the Part B deductible, for new enrollees. If you already have a Medigap plan which covers the Part B deductible, you may keep your current plan. If you were eligible for Medicare before January 1, 2020 but did not enroll, you may be able to purchase a Medigap plan which covers the Part B deductible.

Medigap Plan N is popular because its monthly premiums are relatively low, compared to some other Medigap plans. However, these monthly premiums vary widely.

You can shop for and compare Medigap Plan N plans here.

Medigap Plan N covers:

  • Part A coinsurance and deductible
  • any hospital costs you incur up to an additional 365 days after your Medicare benefits have been used up
  • Part A coinsurance or copayment for hospice care
  • coinsurance for a skilled nursing care facility
  • Part B coinsurance, minus copayments of up to $20 for doctor’s visits, and $50 for ER visits, provided you are not admitted as an inpatient
  • first three pints of blood
  • up to 80 percent of foreign travel emergency medical care (based on plan limits)

Can I enroll in Medigap Plan N?

You are eligible to enroll in Medigap Plan N if you have Medicare parts A and B, and live in a Plan N service area.

However, since Medigap plans are sold by private insurers, there are situations when you may be turned down for Medigap coverage. For example, you may be turned down for a Medigap plan if you are under 65 years old.

If you are 65 or older, the best time to enroll in a Medigap plan is during the Medicare Supplement open enrollment period. During this time frame, you cannot be turned down for Medigap coverage or charged more, even if you have a medical condition. This enrollment period begins the first day of the month in which you turn 65 or older, and enroll in Medicare Part B. Open enrollment lasts for six months from that date.

Medigap Plan F is sometimes referred to as a full coverage plan. Because Plan F’s coverage is comprehensive, it is very popular, despite having higher monthly premiums than some other Medigap plans.

Plan F’s monthly premiums vary. There is also a high-deductible version of Plan F, which has lower monthly premiums.

Those who are eligible can shop for and compare Medigap Plan F plans here.

Medigap Plan F covers:

  • Part A coinsurance and deductible
  • Part B deductible and excess charges
  • any hospital costs you incur up to an additional 365 days after your Medicare benefits have been used up
  • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
  • Part B coinsurance or copayment
  • first three pints of blood
  • coinsurance for a skilled nursing care facility
  • up to 80 percent of foreign travel emergency medical care (based on plan limits)

Can I enroll in Medigap Plan F?

Plan F is no longer available to people who are new to Medicare, unless you turned 65 before January 1, 2020, and did not as yet enroll. If you already have Plan F, you are able to keep it.

Plan N premiums are typically lower than Plan F premiums, meaning, you spend less out of pocket monthly with Plan N than you will with Plan F. However, Plan F covers more out-of-pocket expenses.

If you know that you will have many medical expenses throughout the year, Plan F may be a better choice. If you expect your medical costs to be on the low side but want to make sure you have peace of mind in case of medical emergencies, Plan N may be a better choice.

Another key difference between the two plans is that Plan F pays the $198 Part B annual deductible and Plan N doesn’t.

Plan N and Plan F out-of-pocket cost comparison

BenefitPlan N
out-of-pocket costs
Plan F
out-of-pocket costs
Part A hospice care $0 coinsurance or copayment$0 coinsurance or copayment
Part A skilled nursing facility care$0 coinsurance $0 coinsurance
Part B medicalcoinsurance after Part B deductible$0 coinsurance or copayment
Durable medical equipment (DME)$0 after Part B deductible$0 coinsurance
Emergency room$50 copays for ER visits that don’t require inpatient admission$0 coinsurance
Emergency care outside of U.S.20 percent coinsurance 20 percent coinsurance
Excess charges100 percent of all excess charges$0

Monthly premium costs can vary significantly, based upon your location. There are differences in price within cities as well, based upon county or zip code. The costs provided here are averages, and will give you an idea of what you can expect to spend on premiums for Plan N and Plan F.

Plan N and Plan F monthly premium comparison in a few U.S. cities

CostPlan N
monthly premiums
Plan F
monthly premiums
Chicago, IL$87
–$176
$111
–$294
Albuquerque, NM$70
–$148
$102
–$215
Minneapolis,
MN
$111
–$245
$53
–$121
(high deductible plan)
New York, NY$156
–$265
$193
–$568
Los Angeles, CA$73
–$231
$119
–$172

Medigap (Medicare supplement insurance) helps beneficiaries pay for the things that original Medicare does not. It is purchased through private insurers.

The best time to sign up for Medigap is during your Medicare Supplement open enrollment period.

Two popular plans are Plan F and Plan N. Plan F is a full coverage option that is popular, but as of January 1, 2020, it is no longer available to most new beneficiaries.

Not everyone is eligible for both plans.