Individuals who are enrolled in Medicare Part A and/or Part B who find that they would like additional coverage have a wealth of options available to them. A wide range of Medicare supplements can help to offset your out of pocket costs, and each brings their own set of benefits and premiums to the table. Those who are looking for slightly more coverage than what Original Medicare offers without having to pay a large monthly premium may be interested in Part N.
How Coverage Works
American citizens or legal residents age 65 and older are entitled to Medicare Part A and/or Part B. These two plans are called Original Medicare, and together they work to provide a basic level of benefits toward hospital stays, skilled nursing facility care, durable medical equipment, and more. While these plans can help those on a fixed income to more easily afford their medical care, most participants are left with out of pocket expenses.
Supplement plans like Part N are designed to contribute toward the cost of these extra charges, and this set of benefits is very specific in the ways in which it provides coverage. In general, Part N will pay toward your Part A hospital coinsurance and charges incurred up to one year after benefits are exhausted, as well as your Part A deductible and skilled nursing facility care coinsurance.
One of the unique elements of Part N’s benefits comes with the coverage provided toward Part B coinsurance and copayments. After an individual pays a $20 copay for some office visits and a $50 copay for hospital visits that do not require admission, Part N will pick up the remainder of the associated fees.
Enrolling In Part N
Some Medicare supplement plans offer open enrollment with little to no underwriting, but Part N is not one of those options. You’ll find that your monthly premium could vary widely compared to others based on where you live, your age, and your overall health. Because these factors can make a huge difference in your total out of pocket cost, it’s recommended that you enroll in Medicare Part N during your Open Enrollment Period.
This time frame begins during the first day of the month you turn 65 and are also enrolled in Part B and extends for six months after that. By taking advantage of your OEP, you are guaranteed Part N benefits even if you have a pre-existing medical condition. Waiting to enroll after this time period may result in medical underwriting, which could have a large bearing on your premiums.
Depending on your specific medical needs, Medicare Part N may be a helpful addition to your Original Medicare coverage. If your monthly premiums are low and you find yourself visiting the doctor on a regular basis, this supplement could pay for itself quite easily. However, it’s best to estimate your annual medical expenses before enrolling in any additional plans to ensure that your monthly costs make sense for your individual needs.