The sea of Medicare plans and parts can seem overwhelming at times. There are countless different benefits in Medicare as well as supplementary plans which cover what the main parts do not. Our goal is to make Medicare less confusing for those who are recently eligible or who are looking to switch supplement plans.
Plan N is one of those plans that is popular among Baby Boomers today. It provides a broad suite of coverages with a competitive price tag, but we will get further into those benefits later. Here we will compare some of the popular plans and show how they can benefit you.
What Plans are Available?
There are many different Medicare Plans available which offer different benefits for varying costs. These plans include A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N. There have been some changes to these plans in the last few years that may affect your decision.
- Plan A. This is the most basic plan out of the Medicare selection, but also the cheapest. Recipients of Plan A will receive Medicare Part A coinsurance for an additional year, Medicare Part B copayment, 3 pints of blood, Part A hospice coinsurance or copay, and Part B preventative care coinsurance.
- Plan B. Plan B is extremely similar in terms of coverage to Plan A. Everything is the same except for Part A deductible which A does not cover, but Plan B does.
- Plan C. This plan adds a few notable benefits, but there is one stipulation. The coverage includes everything that Plan B includes, with the added benefits of Medicare Part B deductible, 80% of foreign travel emergency costs, and Skilled Nursing Facility care. This Plan is only available to those who were eligible for Medicare before 2020. If you were not eligible at this time, C is not available.
- Plan D. Plan D is closer to Plan B than it is to Plan C. The Medicare Part B deductible is not covered in Plan D like it is in Plan C, but aside from what Plan B covers, Plan D includes 80% of foreign emergency costs, and Skilled Nursing Facility coinsurance.
- Plan F. For years Plan F was the most popular plan among Baby Boomers and was also the most expensive. This Plan provides the most coverage, offering everything Plan C had with the inclusion of Medicare Part B excess charges. Plan F met the same fate as Plan C, meaning that if you became eligible for Medicare during 2020, this plan is no longer available for you.
- Plan G. Plan G is another popular plan that is recommended among insurance providers. G provides the same benefits as Plan F, except for the removal of Part B deductible coverage.
- Plan K. Plan K is where things start to get a little complex. The Plan that K is most similar to is Plan D, except for the Part B copay, 3 pints of blood, Part A hospice, Skilled Nursing Facility, and Part A deductible, Plan K only covers 50% of those costs. Plan K also does not cover any foreign emergency costs and has an out of pocket limit that can change yearly. This limit was $5,880 for 2020.
- Plan L. Plan L is exactly the same as Plan K but covers 75% of costs rather than 50%. The out of pocket limit has also been lowered, but still changes yearly. The limit was $2,940 in 2020.
- Plan M. Plan M provides full coverage for the benefits in Plans K and L, but the Medicare Part A deductible is only covered up to 50%. There is no out of pocket limit for this plan and Plan M will also cover up to 80% of foreign travel emergency costs.
- Plan N. Finally, the real star of this chart. Plan N offers the same coverage as Plan M except it offers full coverage for all benefits. This plan is heavily recommended by providers because of its coverage and great cost, which we will get into.
Advantages of Medicare Plan N
From the comparison above, you can see that Plan N provides a lot of coverage. Since Plan F has been phased out for new Medicare recipients, Plan N is now the new recommended plan by most providers.
If you are covered under Plan N, your costs will be relatively low. Compared to the other leading plans, Plan F and G, this is an affordable option that provides almost the same coverage. Since Plan F is no longer available to those who are newly eligible for Medicare, Plan N and G are the only options. Plan G is a little more premium, but barely offers more coverage than Plan N.
The only copays that you may need to pay with Plan N is the $20 copay at the doctor’s and a $50 copay at the emergency room. This is still a low charge, so it isn’t really a dealbreaker. This is on top of the $100-$200 cost of Medicare Plan N, which is still relatively low.
What is the difference between Medicare Plan G and Plan N?
Since Plan G and Plan N are the two leading plans of today, as well as being pretty comparable, what are the differences between the two?
Plan N doesn’t cover a couple things that are notable.
First, Plan N does not cover any excess charges. These are additional charges that you may have to pay if Medicare does not cover all of the charges. This depends on who your provider is and how much they typically cost, so this charge can vary. This will only amount to 15% of the original cost at most, so it will not be too expensive.
Second, you may be required to pay some copayments under Plan N. As stated previously, these won’t be too expensive. These copayments will only be up to $20 for office visits and $50 for ER visits, but won’t be applicable everytime.
How Much Does Medicare Supplement Plan N cost?
This can depend. That’s not the answer you wanted, but it’s the perfect insurance answer. Here’s why. Supplement Plan pricing can vary widely depending on several factors: the company, your age, your gender, and your zip code.
Where you live might make the biggest difference is the cost of all supplement plans. Some plans are not available in every state.
This chart can help you see the differences between costs depending on where you live:
Average monthly cost of Medigap Plan N in several cities:
- Chicago, IL
- $87 to $176
- Indianapolis, IN
- $63 to $900
- New York, NY
- $156 to $265
- St. Louis, MO
- $104 to $196
As you can see, the costs vary significantly by geographical area.
For new Medicare subscribers in 2020, G is the most comprehensive plan and will be the most expensive plan. Plan N would be less expensive than G, but you would miss out on the coverages we mentioned above.
Is Medicare Plan N going away?
There are currently no plans to discontinue the availability of Plan N. The only plans that have seen major restrictions in recent years are Plan F and Plan C. If you are new to Medicare in 2020, you can not purchase Plan F or Plan C. However, previous Medicare enrollees can still access the plan.
This change is due to Congress wishing to cut Medical costs, so any plan that covers the Part B deductible has been restricted.
Plan N continues to be a viable and competitive option for most Medicare recipients.
Does Medicare Plan N cover prescriptions?
Like all other Medicare Supplement plans, Medicare Plan N typically excludes long-term care, vision care, dental care, hearing aids, private-duty nursing, and prescription drugs.
To get a prescription drug under Medicare you can join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan also referred to as Medicare Part D.
What are the top Medicare Supplement Plans for 2020?
The best plans available for most Medicare recipients in 2020 are Plans G, N, & F. Remember that Plan F is only available to subscribers who entered the system prior to 2020.
For new subscribers, G & N, would be the most comprehensive policies you could find.
Medicare Supplement Plan N for 2021
Many Medicare recipients are planners, and want to know what is going to happen in the future to costs and coverage changes. Changes to Medicare are not announced till near the end of the year. At this point, we don’t anticipate any significant coverage changes to the supplement plans for next year. Premiums as a whole have remained very stable over the last several years, and any increases are due only to inflationary factors.
When Do I Enroll in Plan N?
This is a great question. If you are soon to turn 65, you need to enroll within a couple months of your birthday. By enrolling during this window, you are guaranteed coverage without needing to go through special underwriting considerations. This is a big win for those turning 65. If you want till after this time period, you will have to qualify with the company to be accepted.
If you currently have a Medicare Supplement plan and want to upgrade or compare plans, you can change. You are not stuck in the plan you have and it makes sense to regularly check coverages and rates between several companies.
Because we are contracted with multiple companies we can do the shopping for you and compare rates and plans with most of the insurance carriers that do business in your geography.
What Carriers Offer Medicare Plan N?
Most insurance companies we represent offer a Plan N option. Some of those top companies are Mutual of Omaha, Humana, United Healthcare, Aetna, and Cigna.
If you scroll through our list of companies, we represent many more companies than these.
As an independent broker, we can compare multiple companies, so you can be confident that you are making the best decision for your health and pocketbook.