You might save money with Medigap Plan N—here’s how it works

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This article is reprinted by permission from NerdWallet

Medigap Plan N serves as supplemental insurance to help pay out-of-pocket costs that Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, also known as Original Medicare, don’t cover.

If you don’t spend a lot each year on copays, coinsurance and deductibles for medical appointments, then Medigap Plan N may be an option to help you save compared with other Medigap plans. This is because it has higher copays, but lower monthly premiums.

How it works

Medigap Plan N, which is part of Medicare Supplement Insurance, helps alleviate some of the concerns associated with health care costs and coverages. If you’re covered only by Original Medicare, Medigap Plan N can help strengthen your health coverage and possibly save you money while doing so.

Once Medicare pays its approved amount for health care costs and services, Medigap Plan N will supplement any “gaps” left in your coverage. Plan N can cover your Medicare Part A deductible or assist with your Medicare Part B copay.

Also see: Medicare may stop short at covering your eyes — what can you do?

Medigap Plan N and all Medicare Supplement Insurance plans are sold by private companies. They are federally regulated and standardized across all states except Massachusetts, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

What Medigap Plan N covers

Here’s what Plan N covers, according to Medicare.gov:

  • Part A deductible.

  • Part A coinsurance and hospital stays up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used up.

  • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment.

  • Part B coinsurance (copayments are $20 per office visit and up to $50 per emergency room visit; waived if admitted).

  • Blood transfusion (up to three pints).

  • Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance.

  • Emergency health care cost for the first 60 days when traveling outside the U.S., and 80% after $250 deductible is met.

What Medigap Plan N doesn’t cover

Though Medigap Plan N is one of the more comprehensive Medicare Supplement Insurance plans, here’s what Plan N doesn’t cover:

  • Part B deductible.

  • Part B excess charge.

  • Prescription drugs.

  • Long-term care.

  • Dental care.

  • Vision care.

  • Private duty nursing.

Also read: 90% of people want to grow old in their own home — what’s the real cost of doing so?

How much does Medigap Plan N cost?

The cost of a Medigap Plan N policy varies based on several factors. Where you live, the insurance company you’re buying it from, when you decide to buy it and your current health condition can all play a role in the price of your policy.

To get the best price for your Plan N coverage, you should enroll in Medigap as soon as you’re eligible — the three months before or after your 65th birthday month — and once you’re enrolled in Medicare Part B.

Policies are much cheaper during this seven-month open enrollment period because companies are not allowed to consider your current health or medical history when writing the initial policy. They do, however, take health conditions into account after this enrollment period, which can result in you paying more for the same coverage.

Also see: Here’s how Medigap Plan G works, and what it covers

When shopping for Medigap Plan N, review your medical records. If you don’t frequently visit the doctor, then Plan N, which may cost you more in copays but a lower monthly premium, may be the better option for you.

Visit Medicare.gov and enter your ZIP code to find a plan that best works for you.

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Jason Jenkins writes for NerdWallet. Email: articles@nerdwallet.com.

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