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Medicare Supplement Plan F vs. Plan N: What Is the Difference?

If you are wondering which Medicare Supplement plan is right for you, you are not alone. Many seniors are unsure about which plan to choose, or if they have the right one for their needs. One of the most common questions we get from our clients is “Which is the best plan?”, when what they should be asking is “Which is the best plan for me?”

Medicare Supplement Plan F and Medicare Supplement Plan N are two of the most popular plans. Once you understand what they cover and how the differences affect you, choosing between the two can be simple.

Benefits of Medicare Supplement Plan F and Plan N

Medicare Supplement Plan F is often referred to as the “Full Coverage Plan.” Seniors that choose this plan take ease in knowing that all their medical bills are covered. This can make tracking monthly expenses more manageable for those who need to stick to a budget. However, in addition to offering the highest level of coverage, Plan F tends to have the most expensive premiums.

Medicare Supplement Plan N premiums are typically less expensive, but this plan has more out-of-pocket costs. With Plan N, you would be responsible for:

  • Copayments: These can be up to (but cannot exceed) $20 for some office visits, or $50 for emergency room visits. The emergency room copayment is charged only if you are not admitted to the hospital as an inpatient.
  • Part B deductible: This is the amount you must pay for your outpatient services before Medicare pays. For 2020, the Part B deductible amount is $198.
  • Excess Charges: Some doctors may choose not to accept assignment, which is the amount that Medicare agrees to pay for a service. If the doctor does not take assignment, they can charge an excess charge that may be up to an additional 15% of the assignment amount. Seniors that choose the Plan N will have to pay that excess charge out-of-pocket. Doctors that charge excess charges are required to disclose this to their patients before treating them, and you can find out if your doctor accepts assignment on the Medicare website. Many doctors do not charge excess charges, and these charges are not allowed in the states of CO, MA, MN, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT.

Which Medicare Supplement Plan Is the Best for You?

When choosing which plan is the best for you, it is essential to consider your circumstances. We ask our clients to think about the following when comparing Medicare Supplement Plan F to Medicare Supplement Plan N.

  • Premiums: Premiums for plans can vary depending on factors such as your age, gender, zip code, and tobacco use. Are the savings on Plan N great enough to take on the extra risk?
  • Your health: If you do not need to see the doctor often, you could save money with the Plan N. However, if you find yourself going to the doctor frequently, you may not save enough money in premiums to make up for what you must pay in copays.


*The future: If you would like to change your plan in the future, you will most likely have to undergo medical underwriting. Medical underwriting is the process that insurance carriers use to determine who they will accept. These companies can decline applicants based on their health. Most states allow this process, and it could mean that you would not be able to change your plan.

Nothing on this website should ever be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult with your medical provider regarding diagnosis or treatment for a health condition, including decisions about the correct medication for your condition, as well as prior to undertaking any specific exercise or dietary routine.

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