MEDIGAP PLAN N FACTS
At first glance, Medigap Plan N can seem a little confusing. It looks identical to Medigap Plan G, but there’s a subtle difference that we’ll talk about more below.
When you turn 65 and get Original Medicare Parts A and B, you also become eligible for a Medicare Supplement policy. The supplement can help defray out-of-pocket costs for healthcare, which might ease your budget.
However, you don’t want to choose a Medigap plan without first considering your options. The following is what you need to know about Medigap Plan N.
Original Medicare Versus Medigap
Original Medicare and Medicare Supplemental insurance — also called Medigap — are two different types of insurance coverage. If you decide you want a Medicare Supplement insurance policy, you must take out a separate policy through a private insurance carrier.
When you have Original Medicare Parts A and B, you have to pay certain out-of-pocket costs. Deductibles, for instance, represent the amount of money you pay before insurance covers the rest of your bills. Coinsurance represents a portion of any medical bill that you must pay, such as 20 percent, while a copayment is a flat fee you pay to your provider.
Depending on the Medigap plan you choose, you can eliminate some of those out-of-pocket costs. While you’ll have to pay an additional monthly premium, many retirees prefer fixed costs to unexpected expenses.
WHAT IS MEDIGAP PLAN N? 7 Things to Know
Medigap Plan N is one of the most popular and comprehensive Medigap plans. It’s slightly different from Medigap Plan G and also shares some commonalities with Medigap Plans F and C. Read on to learn what Medigap Plan N covers.
1. ORIGINAL MEDICARE PART A COINSURANCE AND HOSPITAL CARE
One of the benefits of Medigap Plan N is extended hospital coverage. It pays for up to 365 days of additional hospital inpatient stays beyond what Original Medicare covers, so if you suffer a serious injury or illness, you don’t have to worry about mounting hospital bills.
Similarly, it takes care of any coinsurance fees associated with an inpatient hospital stay. Coinsurance might apply to the hospital stay itself or to services rendered while you’re in the hospital, such as tests and therapies.
2. ORIGINAL MEDICARE PART B COINSURANCE OR COPAYMENT
If you have Medigap Plan N, you can visit your doctor without paying certain coinsurance or copayments. This is one of two ways in which the plan differs from Medigap Plan G.
Under this plan, you might have to pay a copayment of up to $20 when you visit certain doctors and up to $50 if you go to the emergency room. However, your copayment for the hospital doesn’t apply if you get admitted as an inpatient after your evaluation in the emergency room.
3. FIRST THREE PINTS OF BLOOD
Blood tests are a necessary part of making sure you stay healthy as you get older. You might have your blood drawn when you visit the doctor or if you need to have specific levels checked related to a medication you take.
Under Original Medicare, the insurance picks up the payments after the first three pints of blood drawn every year. With Medigap Plan N, you don’t have to pay for blood draws and testing at all.
4. HOSPICE CARE COPAYMENT OR COINSURANCE
Nobody likes to think about end-of-life care, but if you ever suffer from a terminal illness or condition, you’ll want to enjoy the best possible palliative care. That’s what hospice provides. If you have Medigap Plan N, you won’t be responsible for related coinsurance or copayments, which might ease your financial burden as well as your family’s.
5. COINSURANCE FOR SKILLED NURSING CARE
You also don’t have to pay for coinsurance if you need skilled nursing care, whether in a rehabilitation center or in your home. Skilled nursing care often involves a healthcare professional who helps you with daily tasks, such as getting dressed, bathing, and eating.
If you’re recovering from surgery or an illness, for instance, you might need skilled nursing care for several weeks while you recuperate. To avoid straining yourself or causing further injury, a nurse can help you accomplish daily tasks. Medigap Plan N removes some of the expenses associated with such care.
6. ORIGINAL MEDICARE PART A DEDUCTIBLE
Medigap Plan N takes care of your Original Medicare Part A deductible in its entirety. This can come as a relief because, as of 2018, the deductible is just over $1,300. Some of the other Medigap plans don’t cover your Original Medicare Part A deductible at all or only cover a percentage.
7. FOREIGN TRAVEL EMERGENCY CARE
Do you plan to travel once you’re no longer working? If so, you might want to consider Medicare Supplement insurance that takes care of part of your healthcare bills if you get sick or injured while abroad. Medigap Plan N covers 80 percent of your foreign travel emergency care.
WHAT DOESN’T MEDIGAP PLAN N COVER?
As mentioned above, Medigap Plan N only covers some of your copayments under Original Medicare Part B. When you visit the doctor or go to the hospital on an outpatient basis, you might have to pay between $20 and $50 out-of-pocket.
Medigap Plan N does not cover your Original Medicare Part B excess charges, either. If your doctor charges slightly more than Original Medicare agrees to pay, you’ll be responsible for making up the difference. Additionally, you’ll have to meet the Original Medicare Part B deductible, which, as of 2018, is $183.
Ten Medigap plans exist, and Medigap Plan N is an excellent choice if it provides the coverage you need to feel secure in your healthcare and your finances. To research your Medicare Supplement insurance options, use the Medigap Quoter. It will provide you with quotes from insurance companies that offer Medigap in your area.