Comparing Medicare Supplement Plan G vs Plan N
Are you new to Medicare? Have you heard about the many plans available to purchase? Deciding which plan is right for you can be stressful. Don’t worry — you’re not alone. The good news is that Plan N and Plan G are two of the most popular plans (also known as Medigap plans). These plans are very easy to compare as they share most of the same benefits.
In this review, we’ll explain several similarities and differences between these 2 popular policies. By the end, you’ll be a smarter Medigap shopper who will be able to make an informed choice about which policy to buy.
medicare supplement plans are STANDARDIZED!
IMPORTANT: Medigap policies are standardized throughout the country (except in Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin). There are 10 plans that are labeled with a specific letter.
These plans are sold by private insurance companies. Not every company sells every plan letter and Medigap plans are different than Medicare Advantage plans. Since Medicare Supplement insurance plans are standardized policies, any policy type with the same letter has to provide the same benefits no matter the health, age or location of the beneficiary. That makes comparing policies simple.
In other words, a plan from Cigna has the same benefits as the same plan letter from Aetna or Mutual of Omaha.
Medigap Plan N & G Coverage
What do these policies cover?As you can see from the chart above, both of these plans will cover most of the big time costs that are leftover from Original Medicare Parts A and B. However, neither of these plans cover the Medicare Part B deductible. Your Part B will cover your outpatient services. These Part B services cover visits to your doctor or physician’s office. Once you meet your policy’s deductible for the year, your policy will begin to provide coverage.
medicare supplement plan Comparison Chart
|Medicare Supplement Benefits||Plan G||Plan N|
|Medicare Part A coinsurance & hospital costs (up to additional 365 days after medicare benefits are used||Yes||Yes|
|Medicare Part B coinsurance or copayment||Yes||Yes|
|Blood (first 3 pints) 3||Yes||Yes|
|Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment||Yes||Yes|
|Skilled nursing facility care coinsurance||Yes||Yes|
|Part A deductible||Yes||Yes|
|Part B deductible||NO||NO|
|Part B excess charges||Yes||NO|
|Foreign travel emergency (up to policy limits)||Yes||Yes|
What are the Differences Between Medicare Supplement Plan N vs Plan G?
These plans provide many of the same benefits. However, G will provide you more protection, but Medicare Plan N may provide better value.
Plan G Covers:
- Copayments required for emergency room
- Part B copays needed for doctor or outpatient visits
- Plan pays Part B excess charges of 15%.
Plan N Covers:
- Excess charges of up to 15%. This is covered if your doctor or provider charges Medicare Part B excess charges and does not accept Medicare assignment
- Part-B copay of up to $50 per each emergency room visit when you’re admitted to the hospital.
- Part B outpatient and physician copay of up to $20 per office visit.
Medigap Plan N Does Not Cover:
- Copayments: You are responsible for all of the copays. These copayment amounts range from $0 – $20 for some office visits and up to $50 if you need to go to the ER. This $50 copay is waived if you are admitted as an inpatient.
- Excess Charges: Some providers charge this additional cost. You need to be aware that most providers that accept Medicare will also accept something called “Medicare assignment”. This is what Medicare says they are responsible for paying for a specific service. If your healthcare provider wants to be paid more than this approved amount, then they may bill you for these particular excess charges. Just be aware that Medicare excess charges can only be an extra 15% of the original cost. In other words, your provider can’t charge you more than 15% over the Medicare assigned rate and still be paid by Medicare.
Premium Cost Differences Of Medigap Plan G & Plan N?
Not only are there differences in coverage between these 2 plans, but the cost of these policies have shown a tendency to vary as well.In some cases by a significant amount. Premiums for these plans will vary by the Medigap company that sells it.
Plan G may have higher monthly premiums than Plan N.
The reason it costs more is because it provides more coverage. Since it typically has a more expensive monthly premium, it actually may save you money in the long run.For example, if you go to the emergency room a few times throughout the year, or if you need to visit your doctor’s office for treatment regularly, your out-of-pocket costs with Plan N could easily add up and cost you more overall.
For most of the country, Plan G will usually run about $20-25 more each month. If you’re in good health and shopping for the best overall value, it’s typically a good strategy to sign up for Plan N. It typically costs less, but often depends on your level of health even though it has a copay and you may be responsible for 15% in excess charges.
How Do I Change from One Medigap Plan to Another?
If you’re interested in switching from one Medigap plan to another, you’ll need to contact your current insurer and let them know that you’d like to cancel your current policy. You’ll then need to purchase a new policy from the insurer of your choice. Be sure to shop around and compare rates before making your decision, as there can be significant differences in cost between different Medigap plans.
If you’re currently enrolled in Medicare Plan F or any other plan, you can change Medigap plans at anytime. You can even change to a different company to save money. However, changing plans and/or companies may result in underwriting before you’re accepted into the new plan. Never cancel your old policy until you’re accepted into the new plan. There are a few situations when underwriting may not be required. For example, you may live in a state with a birthday rule, or you may qualify for a policy that’s guaranteed issue. Please make sure to work with an independent licensed broker like REMEDIGAP before making any changes.
Which Medicare Plan Is The Best?
The best policy is the one that is going to meet your coverage, lifestyle and budget goals. Your situation is unique.
Purchasing G may be the best choice if you don’t want to deal with copayments because you go to your doctor frequently. Your premium may be a little higher, but avoiding the hassle of copays may be worth it to you. However, you may want to choose Plan N if you’re in good health and looking to save money with a lower premium.
Choosing the right policy that meets your coverage goals may be a simple decision or more complicated than you thought it would be. It often depends on your current health profile as well as what your health will look like in the next few years and beyond.
Compare plan benefits
When you’re newly eligible for Medicare coverage and deciding which plan is best for your situation, you need to weigh the future. Your initial open enrollment opportunity to purchase your policy is not necessarily a “final” decision. You can always switch policies or carriers at anytime. However, you will have to undergo medical underwriting and answer medical questions. If you can pass underwriting and be “approved”, you will be able to change plans in the future.
To clarify, even if your current health dictates that you enroll in either plan, you need to think about your initial decision on a long-term basis. What policy you enroll in now, may be what you keep out of necessity, because you may have health problems or develop them in the future.
At REMEDIGAP, we’re your personal Medicare expert. We’re here to help you figure this all out. Comparing companies and all of these options can get pretty stressful. We hear it everyday how overwhelming it is shopping for the best insurance policies. Don’t worry, it’s why we’re here. We’ll make this process easy for you. We only work with top rated Medigap companies, and we work hard finding low premium options for our clients.
Michael Quinn is an independent licensed insurance agent with a passion for helping others navigate the complex world of Medicare insurance. With over a decade of experience in the field, Michael has established himself as a trusted advisor to countless individuals seeking guidance on their healthcare coverage options.
In 2013, Michael obtained his license as an insurance agent, laying the foundation for his successful career in the industry. Prior to that, he earned his Masters Degree in Communicative Disorders from the University of Central Florida, which equipped him with strong communication and interpersonal skills.
Driven by a genuine desire to make a positive impact on people's lives, Michael co-founded REMEDIGAP in 2013. It was created as a dedicated platform that aims to educate individuals about Medicare insurance. Through REMEDIGAP, Michael provides comprehensive resources and unbiased information to empower individuals to make informed decisions about their healthcare coverage.
With his extensive knowledge and expertise, Michael has been able to guide thousands of individuals towards finding the most suitable Medicare insurance plans tailored to their unique needs. His dedication to his clients' well-being, coupled with his passion for simplifying complex insurance concepts, has earned him a reputation as a compassionate and reliable advisor.
His work has appeared on many blogs and websites including, USA Today, Yahoo.com, Nerdwallet, Think Advisor, and REAL SIMPLE.