4 Best Medigap Plan N Features
Medigap Plan N – There are four reasons why Medigap Plan N has had the fastest-growing pool of Medicare beneficiaries in recent years. That fact surprises many people since Plan N has less coverage than a couple of the other Medicare supplement plans. So, what makes Plan N so desirable? Let’s look at four of its best features.
1. Coverage and Benefits
Plan N may not have the most coverage, but it still ranks in the top three Medigap plans. Plan N includes coverage for:
- Part A deductible ($1,556 per benefit period in 2022)
- Part A coinsurance with an additional 365 days of hospital costs after Medicare’s benefits are exhausted
- Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance
- Part A hospice care coinsurance
- Part B coinsurance
- Blood (first 3 pints)
- 80% of foreign travel emergencies (up to plan limits)
That’s still a pretty long list of benefits. The only two things you won’t find on the list are the Medicare Part B deductible and Part B excess charges. Excluding coverage for the Part B deductible isn’t much of a disadvantage since the only plan that includes that is Plan F, which is not available to newly-eligible beneficiaries.
The same could be said of the Part B excess charges. An excess charge can be no more than 15% above the Medicare-approved amount. Providers who do not accept Medicare assignment are allowed to add this fee. However, about 96% of providers across the U.S. accept Medicare, so excess charges are pretty rare. In addition, eight states prohibit excess charges, regardless of provider status. So if you live in one of those states, you won’t need a plan that covers those anyways.
2. Access to Providers
We just mentioned this, but it’s worth noting again because it’s such a great feature of all Medicare supplement insurance plans. You can use Medigap plans almost anywhere. We point this out because it’s different than Medicare Advantage plans, which require you to get care within a certain network of doctors and facilities. Going outside the network will increase your out-of-pocket costs.
The ability to choose almost any provider and have access to doctors when traveling is one reason so many people choose Medicare supplements. If you live in Missouri but want to take a 3-month vacation to Florida, you won’t have to worry about having access to care or getting permission from your plan to see a doctor while you’re there. Take your plan with you and use it wherever you need it.
3. Guaranteed Renewable
All Medicare supplement insurance plans are guaranteed renewable. That means that as long as you make your monthly premium payments, your plan will automatically renew each month and each year for as long as you wish to keep the plan.
In addition, Plan N doesn’t change from one year to the next, so you never need to worry about your benefits changing. This is unlike Medicare Advantage plans, which often change every year. Individuals enrolled in those plans must review the changes each fall to determine if they still have the same coverage and if their doctors will still be in-network. This process can be a nuisance, and if you have a Medicare supplement plan, you get to avoid it.
4. Lower Premium Cost
We’ve saved the best feature for last. This is the one that is most responsible for the growing number of Plan N enrollees.
Plan N has lower premiums than the two other most popular Medigap plans – F and G. Since it doesn’t cover the Medicare Part B deductible or excess charges, it has fewer benefits than those two plans and therefore will cost less. However, as we discussed earlier, many people don’t even see those two limitations as a disadvantage, so they’re happy to enroll in Plan N and pay less.
There is one to understand about Plan N copays, though. You will be responsible for up to $20 each time you visit the doctor and $50 each time you visit an emergency room. (You wouldn’t have those charges if you enrolled in Plan F or Plan G.) Your provider can choose to charge less than those amounts, and if you’re admitted to the hospital after emergency room visits, your $50 copay will be waived.
The advantage of the copays is that they are one reason we’ve seen little to no rate increases from Plan N over the last couple of years. Plans F and G are increasing at an average of 5% – 6% each year, but Plan N has seen extremely low increases in most states. In fact, some have not had an increase in two years.
The copay requirement plays into that rate increase. Most people who enroll in Plan N are relatively healthy and don’t see a doctor often. If they knew they’d be going more frequently for a chronic condition, they wouldn’t choose a plan that had office visit copays. That means that the pool of Plan N members is a healthy group, which keeps medical costs lower. Therefore, insurance companies don’t feel the need to increase the premiums as quickly.
If you’d like to learn more about Medicare supplement Plan N, call Bobby Brock Insurance. We are a licensed health insurance agency, and we specialize in all things Medicare. Our agents can answer any questions you have so that you can decide if Plan N might be a good option for you.