Plan N is among the most popular and comprehensive supplement plans while remaining cost-efficient, with relatively affordable premiums. 

Medicare supplement plans, also known as Medigap plans, help you pay for the “gaps” in costs not covered by the basic benefits of Original Medicare (Parts A and B). About 20 percent of Medicare enrollees have a Medigap plan. Plan N is one of your Medigap options, and it might be an attractive choice if you’re seeking broad coverage. It strikes a balance between out-of-pocket expenses and affordable premiums.

Since there are many Medicare supplement insurance plans, as well as Medicare Advantage plans, it’s important to carefully consider and compare all your health insurance options in relation to your anticipated healthcare expenses. Medigap plans are offered by private insurance companies, so prices can vary even though the benefits are the same across plans with the same letter. 

Did you know you can use the Insurify Medicare comparison tool to find the best Medicare plan for you? Just enter your ZIP code to uncover Medicare options near you. Try it today!

 

 

What Is Medigap Plan N?

Medigap Plan N is one of several Medicare Supplement Insurance plans. It is part of the federal Medicare program. It offers additional coverage for certain costs associated with Medicare Parts A and B (aka Original Medicare).

What Medigap Plan N Covers 

Plan N pays for the following benefits:

  • Medicare Part A hospital coinsurance and hospital costs up to 365 days after Original Medicare benefits run out
  • Part A hospice care co-payments or coinsurance
  • Part A deductible
  • Part A emergency care that results in inpatient admission
  • Medicare Part B coinsurance costs (except for outpatient co-pays up to $20 for doctor’s office visits and up to $50 for emergency room visits that don’t result in inpatient admission)
  • Part B preventative care coinsurance
  • First three pints of blood used in a medical procedure
  • Skilled nursing facility (SNF) coinsurance
  • Nursing care facility coinsurance
  • Foreign travel emergency health care coverage

Every Medicare insurance supplement plan must follow federal and state laws designed to protect you, and these plans must be clearly identified as “Medicare Supplement Insurance.” Insurance companies can sell you only a “standardized” policy identified by letters in most states. That means every Medigap Plan N will cover the same benefits, but the cost of the plan’s monthly premiums will vary by location and other factors. Be sure to compare prices among the insurers in your area. 

If you live in Massachusetts, Minnesota, or Wisconsin, Medigap policies are standardized differently. Learn more about plans in: 

  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Wisconsin

What Plan N Doesn’t Cover 

Unfortuantely, some exclusions do apply. Medigap Plan N does not cover the Medicare Part B deductible ($203 in 2021) or Part B excess charges, so you will be responsible for paying these costs out of pocket.

Plan N also doesn’t cover:

  • hospitalization beyond 365 days or skilled nursing facility stays beyond 100 days
  • prescription drugs; if you want a prescription drug plan, you can purchase Medicare Part D 
  • dental, vision, or hearing care benefits

It’s important to note that Plan N does not include a limit on out-of-pocket costs, which means there’s no cap on what you’ll be responsible for paying. 

Cost of Medigap Plan N

The cost of the plan depends on where you are and which insurance company you buy from. Plan N might have a lower premium cost than other relatively comprehensive Medigap plans, like Plans F and G, but it covers fewer “gaps” in what your Original Medicare covers. 

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Medigap Plan N vs. Plan G vs. Plan F

These three Medigap plans are the most popular because they are more comprehensive than the other plans. Plan F is the most comprehensive of all, but it’s now available only to people who were eligible for Medicaid in 2020or earlier. The only difference between Plans F and G is that Plan F covers the Part B deductible. The primary difference between Plans N and G is that Plan G covers excess charges, but Plan N doesn’t. 

Well-Reviewed Medigap Insurance Companies

There are currently 12 standardized Medicare Supplement plans approved by the federal government. Separate from the federal Medicare program, these plans are sold by private insurance companies, so it’s important to compare prices in your area. The “best” Medigap is really whichever plan fits your needs and has the lowest rate and the lowest rate increase history in your area. You can find a complete list of Medigap carriers in your area here

Unlike Medicare Advantage plans, which are rated, there are no ratings for Medigap plans. But the following companies are among those that receive good reviews. They’re listed here alphabetically, not by any type of ranking. Not all companies will be available in your area, so you’ll need to do your own research too. 

  • Aetna: They’re one of the oldest (and therefore most stable) Medigap providers—they’ve been around since 1853 and have an A rating with A.M. Best for financial strength. Aetna offers Plans A, B, C, D, F, G, and N, with each plan’s information and Medicare coverage clearly laid out on their website. Their Plan G and Plan N are especially cost-effective because they offer reasonably broad coverage at a lower premium. Members can register for an account at the Aetna website to track their claims, request an ID card, or view their policy coverage. Aetna also offers two apps: Aetna Health tracks your account information, and Attain by Aetna encourages healthy habits. Coverage through Aetna may even be available if you move within the United States or travel abroad.
  • AARP: AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people aged 50+ with a variety of services and information. Their plans are offered through United Healthcare. A primary benefit of buying a Medigap policy from them is that they provide set pricing, meaning they don’t charge you more as you grow older. Pricing information is available on their website by just entering your ZIP code (as opposed to having to enter personal information to get a quote), and there’s a Spanish language website as well. AARP covers Plans A, B, C, F, G, K, L, and N and is available in all states except Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
  • Bankers Fidelity: This company has more than 60 years of experience in assisting seniors with insurance, and their Medigap plans are among seniors’ favorite products they offer. Two unique benefits of Bankers Fidelity plans are that they offer guaranteed renewable coverage and no pre-existing condition waiting periods. Their online portal allows you to review policy info, check claims status, and access other benefits. The company has an A- rating with A.M. Best, and their parent company, Atlantic American, has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Cigna: Another company that’s been around for ages (since 1792!), Cigna has an A rating from A.M. Best. While they sell fewer plan types, a key benefit of Cigna is that they offer a 7 percent household discount for multiple policies and a 5 percent discount for online sign-up, as well as premium discounts for healthy policyholders. They focus on enrollee education, providing information in ways that are easy to understand and creating a user-friendly experience. Their 24/7 health information line is staffed by nurses. Cigna offers three apps: Cigna Envoy Mobile helps customers access health benefits and resources, myCigna Mobile stores all your Cigna details from your ID card information and account balances to costs comparisons for drugs and medical procedures, and the Cigna Wellbeing Mobile app helps encourage healthy behaviors.
  • Mutual of Omaha: Ranked by Investopedia as the best overall Medigap seller, they offer a user-friendly website that includes comparison charts for different plans. Their customer service is known to be good, and 98 percent of their claims are paid out within 12 hours. The company offers a 7 percent discount if your spouse or domestic partner has applied for, or is applying for, coverage with United of Omaha Life Insurance Company. Mutual of Omaha only offers three plans, though: Plan G, Plan N, and Plan A. Established in 1909, they have an A+ rating for financial strength from A.M. Best. The company does not offer a mobile app, but policyholders can create an online account to pay their bill, change billing options, and view explanations of benefits.

When to Enroll in Medigap Plans 

Your Initial Enrollment Period is the six-month window that starts when you turn age 65 and have enrolled in Medicare Part B. If you enroll after this window, your Medigap premiums will likely be higher. 

Beyond your Initial Enrollment Period, you can purchase a Medigap plan in the following windows:

  • General Enrollment Period (January 1–March 31): You can apply for a Medigap plan or switch/drop your Medicare Advantage plan. 
  • Open Enrollment Period (October 15–December 7): You can enroll in any Medicare plan, including Medigap plans. You can also switch your Medigap Plan. 

You can change your Medigap plan once in a calendar year unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

 

 

FAQ: Medigap Plan N

Is Medicare Supplement Plan N good?

Since Plan N is relatively comprehensive, it’s one of the three most popular Medicare Supplement Insurance plan options. But what’s good for one person might not be good for another. The best plan for you is the one that fits your needs. Since Medigap plans are sold by private insurance companies that offer different prices, it’s important to compare prices in your area. You need to consider not only the monthly premium but the out-of-pocket costs based on your anticipated healthcare needs. 

Is Medicare Plan N going away?

There’s currently no indication that Plan N will be discontinued. 

What is the average cost for Medicare Supplement Insurance?

In 2020, the range of average monthly premiums for Medigap plans was $51–$250. The less expensive the premium, the less the plan is likely to cover. Remember that the cost of premiums depends on location and health factors, and the premium amount for the same plan with the same benefits will likely vary between insurance companies. So it’s very important to shop around and compare prices before purchasing. You will also be responsible for some out-of-pocket costs beyond your monthly premium. 

Can I switch between Medigap plans?

In most cases, you do not have a guaranteed right to switch Medigap policies after your Initial Enrollment Period. Unless certain special circumstances apply, such as moving out of your policy service area, you do not have a guaranteed right to switch. After your one-time Medigap Open Enrollment Period expires, you’ll be subject to medical underwriting once you apply for a new plan. That means the insurance company can refuse coverage or charge higher premiums.

Shop around before purchasing your Medigap plan

Whether you’re buying Medicare Supplement Plan N or another Medigap option, you need to consider your anticipated health needs and compare prices in your area. The price for the same plan will vary among the available insurance companies in your area. 

To find Medicare insurance plans in your area, just enter your ZIP code into the Insurify Medicare comparison tool: Adjust coverage options and compare plans side-by-side. And because we know your health plan choices can be overwhelming, we have licensed insurance agents available to provide objective assistance, free of charge. Give us a call at  1-844-965-1378 (TTY 711) Monday-Friday 8am – 8pm ET.

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Updated April 20, 2021

mal profeta is a writer, editor, educator, and public health advocate. They serve as the communications director of an NIH-funded clinical and translational science research center that focuses on addressing health disparities in Appalachia. A former Fulbright recipient, they are completing an MFA in poetry at New York University. More at malprofeta.xyz.