Plan N has seen an increase in enrollment over the last couple of years. While other plans have more benefits, Plan N can offer a great value at a lower cost. It’s not a good fit for everyone, so you’ll need to make sure you understand your coverage and what you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket if you enroll in Plan N
Coverage and benefits included in Plan N are:
● Part A deductible ($1600 per benefit period in 2023)
● Part A hospital coinsurance, plus an extra 365 days of coverage after your Part A benefits are exhausted
● Hospice coinsurance
● Skilled nursing coinsurance
● First 3 pints of blood in a Medicare-approved procedure
● Part B coinsurance
● 80% of foreign travel emergency expenses
There are two costs that aren’t included in Plan N, plus some copays for office visits. Let’s look at each one.
First, the Part B deductible is not included in Plan N. Since no new Medicare beneficiaries are eligible for Plan F (the only plan that pays the Part B deductible), we don’t see this as a plan limitation.
Second, Part B excess charges are also not covered. An “excess charge” is an amount above and beyond the Medicare-approved fee. If your provider does not accept Medicare assignment, they can charge up to 15% more for their services. If you have Plan N, you’ll be responsible for any excess charges. This may or may not matter very much. More than 90% of all healthcare providers accept Medicare assignment. In addition, there are eight states which prohibit the use of excess charges.
Part B Excess Charges are not allowed in the following states:
● New York
● Rhode Island
The biggest difference you’ll notice between Plan N and the other two most popular Medicare supplements (Plans F and G) is that Plan N requires office visit copays. You will be responsible for up $20 for each office visit and up to $50 for each emergency room visit unless your ER visit results in hospital admission.
Notice that we say “up to.” Your provider may charge less (but never more than) these copayment amounts.
If you don’t mind the copayments or rarely visit a doctor, Plan N might be a good fit for you. The biggest advantage of Plan N is that we are seeing a very low rate increase year after year. Medicare supplement premiums generally increase as you get older, but we’ve seen some beneficiaries have the same premium for two or more years in a row. This is largely due to the fact that the typical Plan N enrollee is healthy (otherwise, they would choose a Plan that didn’t have copayments). Healthy members mean lower costs to the insurance companies, which is why Plan N rates are so stable.
On average, Plan N costs between $80 – $160 per month. Your age, gender, location, and tobacco use will all play a role in your premiums. You should compare Plan N rates from multiple insurance companies to make sure you find the one with the most competitive offer.
The most popular Medicare Supplement plan with our clients is Medicare Supplement Plan G.
Sylvia Gordon, aka Medicare Mama, is an expert on all things Medicare and Social Security. She is the 2nd Generation here at The Medicare Family and has served on the advisory boards of major insurance companies like UnitedHealthcare®, Cigna, and Anthem. In her free time, she can be found taking care of her animals (dogs, goats, peacocks, chickens), and reading a good book. Learn More.
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