Medicare Supplement insurance can help you cover the gaps in Medicare, but many people have difficulty deciding which plan is right for them. If you’re unsure which plan to choose, you aren’t alone. Fortunately, Medicare Supplement Plan G and Medicare Supplement Plan N, two of the most popular plans, are relatively simple to compare. Their coverage varies in two ways from each other, and these differences may be enough to help you make your decision.

What Do Medicare Supplement Plan G and Medicare Supplement Plan N Cover?

Medicare Supplement Plan G and Plan N both cover many of the larger costs leftover from your Original Medicare coverage.

For instance, they both cover:

  • Medicare Part A coinsurance and hospital costs
  • Medicare Part B coinsurance
  • Blood (first three pints)
  • Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment
  • Skilled nursing facility coinsurance
  • Medicare Part A deductible ($1,484 in 2021)
  • Foreign travel emergency

Neither Plan G nor Plan N cover the Part B deductible, which is $203 in 2021. Medicare Part B covers your outpatient services, like visits to your doctor’s office. Once you’ve met the deductible for the year, your plan will kick in.

What are the Differences Between Medicare Supplement Plan N vs Plan G?

Medicare Supplement Plan G offers more protection than Plan N. There are two areas that Plan G covers, that Plan N doesn’t.

Plan N doesn’t cover:

  • Excess Charges: This an additional cost that some providers charge. Most healthcare providers that accept Medicare also accept Medicare assignment, which is the cost that Medicare states they will pay for a given service. If the provider wants to be paid more, they can bill you for excess charges, which can only be up to an additional 15 percent of the original cost.
  • Copayments: With Plan N, you will be responsible for copays of up to $20 for some office visits, or up to $50 if you go to the emergency room but aren’t admitted as an inpatient.

In addition to the differences in coverage between Plan N and Plan G, the cost of the plans tends to vary as well. Premiums for each plan can vary by the carrier that offers it, but Plan G is typically more expensive than Plan N because it offers a higher level of coverage. However, while Plan G usually has higher premiums, it could save you money in the long run. For instance, 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 than if you had selected Plan G.

Which Plan Is Best for You?

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what will work best for your situation. If you visit the doctor regularly or prefer not to have to budget for copays, Plan G may be the best option for you. Plan N may be a good fit if you would like to save money on premiums, you’re in great health, and rarely need to visit the doctor. You are also encouraged to consider which plan will give you peace-of-mind about your future.

Comparing plans and carriers can get overwhelming, which is why you should contact you Medicare coverage consultant or adviser for guidance and support as you review your options. Your consultant can help you weigh your options, answer any questions that you may have, and enroll you in the coverage of your choosing.

Kenneth Kiker, CHC spent 49-years in the insurance industry before retiring in 2011 after working in United Healthcare’s Tucson office for six-years specializing in their Medicare division. He continues to work with Medicare beneficiaries helping them with their Medicare coverage decisions. Ken achieved his Certified Health Consultant (CHC) designation in 1990 after attending The CHC School of Marketing at Purdue University and passing a series of national program exams. Email:

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