A social insurance program, Medicare is run by the US federal government, through the Social Security Administration, to help provide health care insurance to Americans 65 years old and above and groups of younger people with certain medical conditions like end-stage renal disease or disability. It helps in covering the cost of medical expenses and health care services to and the covered person only pays for a percentage of the whole amount. However, since Medicare only pays for a specific portion of the cost, getting Medicare Plan N in 2018 is a right move in making sure that a person is protected against high out-of-pocket values when it comes to health-related expenses.
How to become eligible for the Medicare program?
Generally, when an American reaches the age of 65, he is already eligible to enroll for the Medicare program, but there is a question of whether or not he needs to sign up for it or not. A person automatically gets Original Medicare coverage if he is already receiving benefits from the Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board which will start on the first day of the month that he will turn 65 years old. The same automatic enrollment is also valid for disabled persons under 65 years old. They automatically get Medicare coverage after they had received disability benefits from either Social Security or RRB.
Persons who are afflicted with ALS, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, will also get Medicare Parts A and B as soon as they start receiving their Social Security disability benefits.
However, those persons who will soon turn 65 years old should sign up for a Medicare three months before their 65th birthday. Those who have End-Stage Renal Disease should also sign up for the program if they want to have Medicare coverage.
There is an Initial Enrollment Period when people can sign up for Medicare Parts A and B, and it usually lasts for seven months. It starts three months before the person turns 65 and ends three months after that particular person’s birth month. It is essential to sign up for Medicare during these dates because late enrollment will also cause a delay or gap in Medicare coverage.
If an eligible person fails to sign up for Medicare during his Initial Enrollment Period, he will have another chance to sign up, and this will be during a Special Enrollment Period. This period will be anytime while he is still covered by a group health plan or during the 8-month beginning on the month after the employment ends or the group health plan coverage ends, whichever comes first.
Now, Medicare is composed of four parts with each one having a particular set of benefits’ package. Part A offers hospital insurance. It helps cover the cost of related expenses when a beneficiary receives health care services and treatment as an inpatient in a hospital. Meanwhile, Part B will include outpatient and preventive care services. On the other hand, Part C is another set of health care insurance plan that one may avail of from private health insurance providers. It offers Medicare Parts A and B with the additional Part D which will help cover the prescription drug coverage.
For those who are enrolled under Original Medicare which offers Parts A and B, they have the option to avail of a stand-alone Part D, or Prescription Drug Plan, from an insurance company accredited by Medicare.
Medicare surely helps when it comes to medical- and health-related expenses, but it does not cover everything. There is a Medical Supplement Insurance Plan is there to help fill the gaps. These policies are offered by private health insurance companies. Also known as Medigap, this type of health plan provides a different set of the standardized benefits package and are named Plans A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M, and N.
Medicare Plan N for 2018 is among the Medigap policies available in most states so you will get the same set of Plan N benefits, no matter where you live, for as long as it is offered in your area. As a supplemental insurance, it helps fill in areas which are partial, if not entirely, covered by Medicare.
Medicare Plan N pays for Part A hospital coinsurance and other costs for up to an additional 365 days if the covered person has exhausted his benefits under the Original Medicare, as well as hospice care coinsurance and copayment and Part A deductible.
It also pays for Part B coinsurance or copayment.
Aside from those, it also covers for the first three pints of blood in a medical procedure, skilled nursing facility coinsurance, and up to 80 percent of foreign travel medical insurance, depending on the plan limits.
However, it will not cover Part B deductible or excess charges, nor it will cover copayment or coinsurance for doctor’s office and emergency room visits.
Compared with other policies, Medicare Plan N offers lower monthly premium rates than Plans A to G and provides more coverage than Plans K and L. It costs more economical than the more comprehensive Plan F but keep in mind that smaller costs also mean lesser coverage.
Medicare Plan N 2018 cost
The actual cost of Medicare Plan N, it is essential to know which price rating system the insurance provider is using.
There are actually three systems of price rating used by private insurance companies in setting the premiums of the policies they offer.
The first system is called Community-rated where everyone with the policy pays the same price, regardless of their age. The second one is issue-age-rated where the premium is based on the age of the enrollee at the time of his enrollment. This is advantageous for those who are younger for they will pay lesser than the amount paid by older people. The last one is the attained-age-rated, where the premium will start low and increase as the enrollee ages.
It is important to compare Medicare Plan N 2018 policies offered by different companies and check whether the cost and the benefits package will suit a person’s needs and capacity to pay.