Medicare Supplement Plan N Review | Cost, Copays, & Excess Charges
If you're shopping Medicare Supplements, Plan N is worth considering. It's one of the most popular Medigap plans today, but it's worth comparing the cost, copays, and excess charges against Plan G and Plan F.
In this Medicare Supplement Plan N review, we’ll cover what Plan N is, Plan N vs Plan G vs Plan F, the mysterious excess charges, and more.
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What is Plan N?
Plan N is one of the Medicare Supplement plan options, which are plans that help pay for gaps Medicare leaves behind. Like the other Medigap plans (such as Plan F or G), Plan N is sold by private insurance companies, such as Accendo Insurance Company or Lumico.
Plan N has very similar benefits to Plan F and Plan G, but it has a lower premium. If you're looking to save on your Medicare Supplement coverage, Plan N could be the perfect plan choice for your needs and budget.
Cost of Medicare Plan N
The big upside to Medicare Supplement Plan N is that the monthly premium is lower than the other most popular options, Plan F and Plan G.
On average – and this can change depending on a variety of factors – a Plan N is between $30-$50 cheaper than a Plan F. That means that every month, you pay $30-$50 less than you would for the most expensive plan.
When compared to a Plan G, you’ll find that a Plan N is often $5-$20 cheaper for that monthly premium.
As a reminder, a monthly premium is the bill you get each month for being a member of an insurance plan.
While the price of a Plan N varies depending on where you live, how old you are, your health, and more, it generally costs between $85-$120 per month.
Medicare Plan N Copays
Medigap Plan N is extremely similar to major medical insurance. One of its main differences when compared to Plan F or G is the copay.
When you have a Medigap Plan N, you pay a small copay when you go to the doctor’s office. However, it’s usually only about $10. It will never exceed $20. The copayment to go to the emergency room is usually $50. But keep in mind that there is NO copayment to visit an urgent care facility.
So, if you don’t plan on going to the doctor more than once or twice a year, those copayments will be long forgotten. But on the flip side, if you end up at the doctor once a month, they can add up, which means it could be better for you to consider a plan with no office copayments.
Medigap Plan N Excess Charges
Excess charges happen when a doctor charges you more than the Medicare-approved amount. Doctors who don't accept Medicare assignment are allowed to overcharge you up to 15%. That 15% upcharge is called an excess charge.
For example, a doctor might charge $1,500 for a procedure, but Medicare only approves $1,200 for that procedure. If the doctor agrees to work with Medicare, they’ll lower their billing rate to the approved $1,200. If they don’t, you would receive a bill in the form of an excess charge.
However, most doctors accept Medicare (they accept Medicare assignment).
But even if this is a concern for you, there’s a simple solution: ask if your doctor accepts Medicare assignment before ever going in for a visit. If they do, you have nothing to worry about. If they don’t, find a new doctor or consider getting a Plan G or a Plan F.
Is Plan G Better Than Plan N?
When it comes to coverage, Plan G is slightly better than Plan N. However, you pay a higher premium each month.
The following chart shows you how Plan G compares to Plan N and a Plan F. You’ll see that there are only minor differences between the three most popular plans, which are marked in red.
When you compare Medigap Plan N to the other supplements, you’ll find that it’s a great option if you’d like to stick to a tighter budget. Sure, there are a few trade offs, but you’ll likely end up saving money on your supplement.
If you’re worried about those excess charges, you can always opt for a Plan G, which is one of our favorite plans. The Plan G is also becoming the most popular plan on the market.
A Plan F is certainly the most expensive option of them all, but the perk of this plan is that you don’t get any bills from your doctor. As long as your service is covered by Medicare, you’re bill-free. (Plan F is not available for everyone. Contact us to find out if you are eligible.)
- If you don’t want any bills from the doctor, and you don’t mind paying more for that, go for Plan F.
- If you’re a bargain shopper and love getting a great value, go for Plan G.
- If you have a tighter budget, but still want coverage, go for Plan N.
Overall, we think Medigap Plan N is a great value for the money. It’s a solid plan with good coverage, and if you’ve had traditional health insurance for all of your life, it’ll be a natural transition. Yes, it has copays and excess charges, but ultimately, it's worth the premium savings for a lot of individuals.
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