Medigap Plan F or Medigap Plan N, which is right for you? Ever since it was introduced in 2010, the Plan N Medicare Supplement has been a favorite recommendation of mine. Unfortunately, when shopping, most people don’t even consider it. They tend to gravitate towards the more popular Plan F because of it’s seemingly more comprehensive coverage.
A Medigap Plan F is the Most Popular of All the Standardized Plans
Over 50% of the Medicare Supplements purchased are a Medigap Plan F. However, as you will see, the most popular doesn’t always mean better.
A Medigap Plan N Can Offer a Tremendous Value for Many Seniors
There are two main things to consider when purchasing a Medigap Plan N. The first, does your doctor accept Medicare Assignment? Second, how often do you see a doctor? Your answer to these two questions will determine if a Plan N can save you money. I’ll show you why. We’ll start by comparing what a Plan N does and doesn’t cover along with a Plan F.
Find Out if a Medigap Plan F or Medigap Plan N is Right for You
What both Plan N and Plan F cover
Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment
First 3 pints of blood
Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
Medicare Part A deductible
Foreign travel emergency
What a Plan N doesn’t cover that a Plan F does
Medicare Part B Deductible ($166 applies once a year)
Medicare Part B Excess Charges (only applies if your doctor doesn’t accept Medicare assignment)
Plan N Added Costs
Comparing Medicare Supplement Plans is already confusing, and unlike most of the other Standardized Plans, there are some added costs with a Plan N. This could be why it’s often overlooked. I know you’ll agree, even with these added Plan N copays, it is still a great value.
A $20 copayment for qualifying doctor visits
A $50 copayment for emergency room visits (if you don’t require inpatient care)
Let’s Do the Medigap Plan F and Medigap Plan N Math
We are going to compare Medigap Plan F and Plan N by taking the lowest price Plan N against the lowest price Plan F using rates for a female, non-smoker, turning 65, in Melbourne, Florida. Let’s call her Sally, and assume her doctor accepts Medicare assignment so no “excess charges” will apply. If you are unsure whether or not your doctor accepts Medicare assignment you can check here.
Plan N and Plan F cost difference.
Plan N monthly premium $132.45
Plan F monthly premium $184.10
That’s an annual savings of $624
What happens when she uses her Medigap Plan N?
The first time Sally sees her doctor using her Plan N coverage, her only costs are the once a year Part B Deductible of $166, and a $20 copay. For a combined total of $186. If she had a Plan F, her cost would have been $0.
If Sally goes to the doctor a second time, her only cost is the $20 copayment since she has already met her Part B Deductible for the year. Again, Plan F would be $0.
Back to the math.
Annual Plan N savings compared to Plan F $624
Minus the cost of her first doctor visit – $186
Sally still has an annual savings of $438
That’s enough savings for Sally to see a doctor 21 more times over the next calendar year before exceeding her costs had she bought a Plan F. Over the years these savings can add up!
The Savings Can Be Substantial
Because a Plan N is a good value for someone who doesn’t see a doctor very often, it is more likely to be chosen by healthier people. A healthier overall group of insureds would mean less in the way of future rate increases. Making your savings even greater!