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AARP Medicare Supplement Plan N


AARP Medicare supplement Plan N is a good alternative to an Advantage planThumbs Up AARP Medicare Supplement Plan N

Insurance companies have been offering Medicare supplements (Medigap policies) since Medicare first began in 1966. AARP Medicare supplement insurance underwritten by United Healthcare is a solid choice. Of the plans available Medicare supplement Plan N is getting a lot of attention.

In 2003 the NAIC re-tooled Medicare supplements to create 11 standardized plans. These plans are called Modernized Medicare supplement plans. Two new plans were added; Plans M and N. AARP Medicare supplement Plan N has some features that many Advantage Plan members may find to be of interest.

What makes Plan N unique?

AARP Medicare supplement Plan N is very competitively priced. Many Medicare beneficiaries enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan because a supplement is financially out of reach. United Healthcare may have solved that problem with Plan N. Priced considerably lower that their most popular plan, supplement Plan F.

United Healthcare is able to offer much lower rates because of the way Plan N is designed. Plan N is the first supplement to include co-pays for doctor visits and emergency room visits. Another cost sharing feature is the beneficiary’s responsibility for the Part B deductible. In addition to the monthly premium, the policy holder may pay:

  • The Part B deductible currently $183 for 2017.
  • Up to $20 for a doctor visit.
  • Up to $50 for an emergency room visit.

Aside from the possible co-pays, once the Part B deductible is met, Medicare supplement plan N pays 100% of Part B co-insurance.

AARP supplement Plan N benefits:

Medicare Part A co-insurance hospital costs up to an additional 365 days after Medicare benefits are used up.

Part B co-insurance or co-payment. Subject to Part B deductible and co-pays detailed above.

Blood (First 3 pints).

Part A hospice care co-insurance or co-payment.

Skilled nursing care co-insurance.

Medicare Part A deductible.

Foreign travel emergency (plan limits apply).

Medicare preventative care Part B co-insurance.

Why not a Medicare Advantage plan?

One thing is certain. Medicare Advantage plans are changing and in many instances, monthly premiums are increasing. Some Advantage plans now cost more than a Medicare supplement. An Advantage plan will certainly  require cost sharing for hospital inpatient charges. Most plans require you to pay a couple hundred dollar co-pay, for a fixed number of days, as part of your cost sharing responsibility. You may even be required to pay more than if you had only Medicare. This is not the case with AARP Medicare supplement Plan N.

Many Medicare Advantage plans offer no benefit over Medicare when it comes to outpatient surgery and durable medical equipment. Many outpatient tests require 20% co-insurance and 30% co-insurance when you are out of their network.

Medicare Plan N does not require a network. You can receive services from any provider that accepts Medicare assignment.

When you get down to it, you are paying a lot of extra money to receive the additional benefits that an Advantage plan includes. When you compare Medicare supplement Plan N to an Advantage plan, you will be pleasantly surprised at the value Plan N brings to the table.


  1. Looks great but where are the premiums

  2. John, This site is not owned or operated by Mutual of Omaha. Medicare supplement premiums typically vary based on zip codes in a State. Not all plans are offered in every State. I comment on Medicare options and news related items, but am unable to have information on all premiums. Visit Mutual of Omaha’s website to get additional information on Medicare supplement Plan N. I believe their is a site function that will allow you to get a quote.

  3. I now have Mutual of Omaha Plan F and would like to know the comparison to Plan N before I would consider changing. I also notice the monthly rate is about $78.00 and they show Plan F at 104.00 but I recently received a notice that Plan F had gone up 25.00/mo. I would like to know also if that rate for Plan N is a good rate.
    Thank you.

  4. Marianne, Medicare Supplement Plan N requires that you have a greater level of cost sharing and in return you will have a lower monthly premium. Plan N requires that you pay the Medicare Part B deductible, a copay up to $20 for doctor visits and a copay up to $50 for ER visits. Plan F would provide coverage for these items. Also Plan F includes coverage for Part B excess charges and Plan N does not.

    I’m not sure of the rates, as they vary by location and your age. I would consider meeting with an insurance agent if I was contemplating a change. They should be able to provide you with the hard data you are looking for.

  5. I just changed my Dad from plan G to plan N. I called his cardiac surgeon and other doctors and specifically asked if they ever charge excess because Plan N does not cover Part B excess. I was told by all that they only charge what is allowed by Medicare. We’re saving almost $1000 in premiums for the year and my Dad had 2 surgeries and multiple office visits this past year. I added it all up and if he has another bad year that compares to 2010, he’ll still save around $600….if he has a normal year, he should save around $800.

  6. Great Dana! Hopefully your experience will inspire others to take a look at Medicare Supplement Plan N.


  8. What do you mean…co-pay up to $20? Could it be lower or even zero?

  9. Lee, Yes, depending on the overall charge for the service provided it could be lower and even $0.

  10. I’m researching info for my father who lives in zip 70806. I’m trying to understand if there are policies or supplements that actually cover the cost of “staying in hospice” if he is determined to need hospice care. He currently has A, B and supplement N which is through UHC. I think that plan A covers the cost of all the care from attending professionals but I can’t see if/where there is coverage for the facility. Thanks.

  11. Jerry, Check out the Medicare and You Handbook. It is a great resource when doing research on Medicare and Medicare plans.

  12. Does plan N have a waiting period or a pre-existing condition policy that applies to it?

  13. V, A pre-existing clause could apply depending on the circumstances under which you enroll. If you are in your Open Enrollment Period and have been without creditable coverage for the previous 63 days you can be subject to a 6 month waiting period if you have been treated or diagnosed in the previous 6 months. It’s important to note that you will still be covered under original Medicare during that time.

  14. Does my AARP Plan N cover cost of routine eye exam?

  15. Bonnie, Plan N like any Medigap policy will only fill the gaps of original Medicare. Medicare does not cover routine eye exams but some Medicare supplement plans do. AARP can offer benefits through their membership program. I’m not sure that exams are covered 100% but I believe there is at least a discount. Call the member services number on your card to be certain.

  16. What is the mental health coverage under Plan N.?

  17. William, A supplement like Plan N only pays your share of Medicare covered expenses. If a mental health issue is covered by Medicare, Plan N will pay your share, minus the Part B deductible, up to $20 office copay and $50 ER visit.

  18. with plan N, do I pay the $ 20.00 Dollar office call when I go for blood work?

  19. Robert, If blood is drawn for labs at a doctor’s office, the deductible will apply. If you go to a facility other than a doctor’s office Medicare supplement Plan N will pick up the 20% coinsurance.

  20. What does Part B excess mean?

  21. Dorothy, Medical providers who do not accept Medicare assignment can charge 15% (excess charge) beyond what Medicare will reimburse them for Part B serveries rendered.

  22. I live in NY and just turned 65. My wife autmatically added the AARP UNH Plan N to my monthly payment for $172/month. That’s $2k per year. I know one never knows what can happen, but Medicare covers a lot and I’m in excellent health and have significant savings to pay my bills. Can I cancel this supplement and pick it up later, say, when I’m 70, or will I be shut out for canceling?

  23. Rob, If you cancel and decide to sign up later, you will most likely be subject to medical underwriting. This means you may not be eligible. Also, keep in mind that there is not a cap on your share of outpatient expenses when on original Medicare only. It’s 20% of what ever the billable amount is. That includes such things as emergency room visits, MRIs and outpatient surgery. Unless your pockets are deep or if the premiums are just too much, I would probably keep the supplement if I was in your shoes.

  24. Just signed up for Medigap Part N (not F)…think I understand differences (Part N does not pay Pt B Deductible, Excess Charges). Its the “$20 Max-Co-Pay Dr Visit” I can’t find answer to. Does Part N pay 20% Co-Insurance on … Blood Tests (I think it does; Lab is not in Dr’s office) … Physical Therepy ordered by a Doc (I would guess it does pay). BUT, sometimes a Dr Visit has a combined bill for both Dr services and Hospital Facilities (Doc is Hospital Employee). OTHER TIMES a Dr Visit results in two bills (one for Doc, one for Facility). In either case does Part N pay the separate Co-Insur piece for Facilities, while letting me pay the portion for the Dr services ? Sorry for the Devil-In-Details questions. Thanks.

  25. Tom, Yes, Plan N will pay the separate coinsurance for facilities, while you will be responsible for the doctor copay.

  26. A dear friend who is 89 years of age, a widow and no one to look after her expenses, told me today that she had Plan N but the doctor charged her $133+ for a simple office call today. They told her it was because it is the first of the year (2014) This lady is very ill and she thinks she is supposed to pay before they file the insurance. I’m afraid for her that someone is taking advantage of her. What can I tell her or how can I help. Thanks.

  27. Stella, Plan N does not cover the Part B deductible which is $147 per year. The deductible must be met before the plan pays. It sounds as though everything is in the up and up.

  28. With plan N, can I use any doctor. of my choosing . Also what is my deductable,
    I use United Health Care, getting increases yearly. I am on SLMB
    My zip is 75081 Richardson, tx

  29. I don’t understand the 20% coinsurance under plan N. So a blood draw after the $147 deductible is another fee?
    Is the 20% coinsurance applied to all testing etc after the $147 deductible…physical therapy, etc.

  30. Leah, If you qualify for Plan N you will be able to choose any doctor and you will be required to pay the Part B deductible, currently $147.

  31. Paula, After the deductible Plan N pays the 20% Part B coinsurance. You will be required to pay a $20 copay for doctor visits and $50 copay for ER visits.

  32. David,
    I think I will stay with what I have. No sense changing, too many
    co pays , if and when I need a doctor visit. Also you mentioned qualified,
    if your familiar with SLAMB, that will tell you I am in a low income bracket.
    Thanks for your reply.

  33. How does part n impact the doughnut hole?

  34. Gary, Medicare supplement Plan N has no bearing on Medicare drug coverage, including the donut hole. Plan N covers medical only. Medicare is made up of Part A (hospital), Part B (outpatient), Part D (drug coverage) and optional Part C (Medicare Advantage). Plan N will pay for some of the Medicare covered expenses that are normally your responsibility, but you will need to enroll in a Part D plan to get drug coverage.

  35. Thanks for your response. We have part D coverage now. I thought N was a plan that would bridge the gap in the doughnut hole. My mistake. Any advice on staying out of the hole?

  36. Gary, This article may give you some ideas as to how to stay of of or delay getting into the Part D donut hole.

  37. What expenses during foreign travel (I.e. Europe or Africa) are covered with Plan N?

  38. Nial, Plan N includes foreign travel emergency benefits up to the plan limits. Plans are generally limited up to $5000 in foreign emergency benefits. Check with the insurance company offering the plan to verify the plan limits.

  39. How well does plan N cover if the patient developes cancer?

  40. Elizabeth, Plan N will pay all of your portion of original Medicare expenses with the exception of the Part B deductible and Part B excess charges. You will also be responsible for a $20 copay for doctor’s visits and $50 copay for ER visits. Overall it’s pretty good coverage. It will not pay for any treatment that original medicare would not pay for, such as alternative cancer treatments.

  41. David,
    I believe plan N covers routine eye exams. Can you confirm and provide the name of the company where I can get an exam?

  42. Chip, Some carries may offer that as an extra benefit but it’s not part of the standardized plan. If your plan offers that benefit they should provide you with a provider directory.

  43. Can you point to a document or website that explains the Plan N “up to” $20 copay per office visit? Someone said it is 20% of the doctor office bill up to $20 after the Part B deductible is paid. I see no document saying it is 20%. Someone said it is 20% of the portion paid by the supplemental plan N only (not of the 80% paid by Medicare). Someone else said it is 20% of the full bill up to $20. Please clarify, thanks.

  44. Linda, Choosing a Medigap Policy is the best source for information on Medicare supplements.

  45. Not helpful. The document you mention does not explain what I am asking. It only says, like every document I find, “Plan N pays 100% of the Part B coinsurance, except for a copayment of up to $20 for some office visits”.

    This is why Plan N is confusing. No where does it explain how the “up to $20” is determined, per my comment above.

  46. Really learned a lot just going through the questions and your comments. Thank you. I need to pick a supplement as I am turning 65 in a few months. (I am in Illinois). Concerned about doing this efficiently as I may become subject to underwriting problems in the future and may not be able to change if I don’t get it right. I am worried about the low prices I have been quoted for Plan G (especially MOO) and the potential for them to skyrocket beyond affordability.

    Your explanation of Plan N is intriguing. Seems to have cost sharing as an element which may limit the size of future premium increases. Is my thinking correct? It doesn’t look like I am giving up all that much with N versus G. At first blush, G is only $10 a month more over N in the plans I am looking at, but I suspect that over time, that could change drastically and I may be “stuck” with ever growing premiums that may become unaffordable. Thinking that N could be a great alternative with less future downside risk. Can you comment? Also, I assume this is portable if I move south, perhaps Tennessee? Thanks again!

  47. Jerry, Plan N is a good choice if you want to limit your premium amount. Every supplement will increase in premium amount usually on an annual basis. This is driven more by cost of care than by an insurance company trying to increase its profits. Yes, you are correct a supplement will be accepted by any provider who accepts Medicare… regardless of which State you are in. If you would like more insight you can get my eBook on Amazon. My Free 8 Part Video Mini-Course on choosing a plan is also helpful.

  48. Linda, I’m sorry I wasn’t understanding your question. The “up to $20 copay” is a function of what the provider charges versus what Medicare reimbursement they receive. For example if a provider charges $100 and they are reimbursed $70, you will pay the full $20. If they charge $70 and are reimbursed $70 you will pay no copay. There are many instances of people with Plan N paying less than $20 or nothing at all after a doctor visit. If you would like more insight about Medicare plans get my eBook on Amazon, it may be helpful.

  49. what does it mean when you mention part b deductible and part b excess, I pay my medicare part b of 104.00 per month will I have other payments for part b with the plan n insurance

  50. Mary, Plan N does not pay your annual Part B deductible.The Part B deductible is currently $147. Some plans cover the deductible… some do not. You are paying a lower monthly premium than what you would pay for a plan that covers the deductible. Excess charges are the result of a doctor not accepting Medicare assignment. The can charge up to 15% more than what Medicare will pay.

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