With the many Medicare supplement plans available today, choosing a supplemental insurance policy that meets your needs can be confusing and stressful. How do you know which one best fills in the gaps left by Medicare? Below is information about Medicare supplement Plan N that will help you decide if Medicare Plan N is right for you.
A Review of Medicare
To fully understand if Medicare supplement Plan N fits into your insurance coverage, it is helpful to review the basics of Medicare. Original Medicare is health insurance protection provided by the federal government. It is also called Traditional Medicare or Fee-for-Service Medicare. With Original Medicare, you can go to any doctor or hospital in the country that accepts Medicare. Most physicians and hospitals participate in Original Medicare, but Medicare limits how much they can charge for their services.
There are two parts to Original Medicare: Part A and Part B. Part A covers hospitals and inpatient stays, care at a skilled nursing facility, some home health care, and hospice care if ordered by a doctor. Part B covers doctor fees, outpatient services and other medical facilities such as ambulance transports, durable medical equipment, mental health visits and home health services.
Under Original Medicare, you pay an annual deductible. After you meet your deductible, you pay a coinsurance for the services you receive. You can buy extra insurance coverage from private insurance companies that will cover your out-of-pocket costs such as annual deductibles and coinsurance amounts. These Medicare supplement insurance policies are called Medigap policies.
There are 10 Medicare supplement plans offered in the United States. Each plan is named by a letter of the alphabet (Plans A through N). In 47 states, each letter provides the same basic level of benefits; the exceptions are Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin. Not all 10 Medicare supplement insurance plans are available in all states. Although the federal government requires carriers to offer the same basic level of benefits for each plan, some carriers may offer additional advantages.
Medicare Plan N
Medicare supplement Plan N, also called Medigap Plan N, is one of the Medicare supplement plans that most states offer. First introduced in June 2010, enrollment in Medicare Plan N has risen from 7 percent in 2014 to 11 percent 2016. It is expected to remain a popular plan for people looking for lower premiums combined with fairly broad coverage.
Medigap Plan N offers the same coverage in all states except Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin. That means that regardless of which insurance company you buy the policy from or where you live, you will get the same basic benefits.
When you compare Medicare Plan N to other Medicare supplement plans, you will find that it covers more than Plans K and L and that it has lower rates compared to Plans A, B, C, D, F and G.
Is Medicare Part N The Same As Medicare Supplemental Plan N?
People often ask whether Medicare Part N and Medicare supplemental Plan N is the same thing. There is no Part N, only Medicare Parts A, B, C and D. Although an agent will know what you mean if you refer to Part N, using the correct terminology avoids confusion.
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Is There A Difference in Medicare Supplemental Plan N from Company to Company?
Although Plan N essential benefits are standard in 47 states, the premiums are not. Costs vary between insurance carriers and can differ based on location, whether the company offers extra benefits or how the company rates its premiums. Insurance carriers use three ways to determine their premiums:
Community rates: Each person pays the same premium regardless of age.
Age rates: Each person covered pays based on their age when they first enroll; premiums do not increase with age.
Attained-age rates: Beneficiaries pay based on their current age; premiums rise as you get older. Long-term, these are usually the most expensive since costs continue to increase.
Remember that regardless of how an insurance carrier determines its costs, carriers typically conduct annual reviews. Carriers can adjust their rates based on inflation, rising health care costs or other factors.
What Is The Best Way to Apply for Medicare Supplement Plan N?
Because the premium rate differs between insurance carriers, the best way to apply for Plan N is to talk with an insurance agent. An agent can directly compare plans between several carriers and make sure you get the best rate. We can help you find the best Medicare supplement Plan N available in your area.
Plan N vs. Plan F
Reviews show that Plan N and Plan F are both popular Medicare supplement plans that offer broad coverage. Plan N, however, has fewer benefits than Plan F.
Under both plans, the benefits for hospital admissions, hospice care, blood transfusions, skilled nursing care and foreign travel are the same. The difference is that under Plan N, you will pay the annual deductible for Part B, plus a $20 co-pay for some doctor visits and a $50 co-pay for some emergency room visits.
The other difference between the two plans is that under Medicare supplement Plan N, you pay any excess charges assessed by your health care provider. An excess charge is the difference between what a health care provider charges and what Medicare approves for payment. For example, if your physician charges $100 for a visit, and Medicare approves $80, you will be responsible for the $20 difference under Plan N. In most cases, health care providers accept what Medicare approves; however, some do not.
The trade-off for paying your Part B deductible, office co-pays and, excess charges is lower premiums for Plan N compared to Plan F. While it seems logical to get essentially the same coverage for a much lower premium, you need to think carefully before making a decision. If you have frequent office visits, or if you are on a budget that would make regular office visits hard to handle if you became ill or injured, then Medigap Plan N may not be the best choice for you. Also, if your health care provider does not accept Medicare’s approved amount and you are responsible for the excess charges, your out-of-pocket costs can add up quickly. Check with your doctor or hospital to find out whether they accept Medicare assignment before signing up for any supplemental plan.
Companies We Recommend
Many companies offer Medicare supplement Plan N, but not all companies offer the quality service and reliability you want in an insurance carrier. Following are some “preferred companies” to consider when researching your Medicare supplement insurance options:
We are not sponsored or endorsed by any of these companies. We prefer them because they offer competitive quotes, are well-established companies with a history of reliability and are top-rated companies with a solid history of rate stability. These preferred companies also take advantage of innovative technology to create a more efficient buying experience for the buyer as well as a much higher level of customer service. Many mom and pop-style companies that are getting into the Medigap market due to the influx of baby boomers do not have the stability of these preferred companies.
Will My Rate Ever Change?
Insurance carriers conduct annual reviews of the Medigap plans they offer, and they have the option to raise Medicare supplement Plan N rates based on the increased cost of care, inflation or other economic factors. It is important to have a good relationship with an agent you trust because we can shop your rate year to year to make sure you still get the best deal.
This website is for informational purposes only. To research Medicare supplement plans and premiums and to compare quotes, use our online form below. Choose your state to find the best Medicare supplement Plan N among the top carriers, or call us at (888) 414-4547.