Medicare Advantage enrollment has increased rapidly over the years. And one of the most common questions asked by seniors who want to enroll in the program is “What is the best Medicare Advantage Plan?”
This is because trying to figure out which coverage you need can be overwhelming, and hence you begin to search for the best Medicare advantage plan to ease your stress.
A study by KFF shows that more than 40 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans in nine states. This plan includes all the coverage of the Original Medicare plan plus extra benefits like vision coverage, dental coverage, and lots more.
One of the downsides to using the Medicare Advantage plan is that you must use in-network doctors or specialists to cut costs. Also, the plan is not offered nationwide. You will need to check to see which plans are available in your state before enrolling.
To this effect, we have compiled a list of the best Medicare Advantage plan providers based on service, customer feedback, availability ( at least 30 states), ease of assessment, and educational content on the site to help you understand the program better.
These healthcare providers have a record of providing top-notch health insurance to their clients. Continue reading!
What Is Medicare Advantage Plan?
Medicare Advantage plan is a substitute for Original Medicare. It is also called “part C”, and is another way to get Medicare Part A and Part B coverage at a lower pocket cost.
Medicare Advantage plans or “MA” are offered by private companies that are approved by Medicare and must follow the Medicare rules.
This plan also covers drugs (Part D), alongside other benefits like vision, hearing, dental, and more.
There are different types of Medicare Advantage Plans, but here are the most common.
What Is the Best Medicare Advantage Plan?
Below is a list of the best medicare advantage plan providers, approved by Medicare.
Kaiser Permanente is a trusted name in the health care industry. It offers two Medicare advantage plan options: standard Medicare Advantage and Medicare Advantage Plus (with expanded coverage and services).
The process is easy and includes hospital coverage, medical services (such as doctors’ visits), drug coverage, preventative care, and more. It also has a limit to the amount you will spend out of your pocket for expenses.
Additionally, the plan lets you select any in-network physician at the time, or talk to a specialist on the phone if you have any questions. And the website offers educational videos to help you understand Medicare plans better.
The U.S. News & World Report recognizes Kaiser Permanente as one of the best Medicare Advantage health plans. Also, J.D. Power’s annual Survey has for the past 5 years ranked Kaiser as the best overall Medicare Advantage Plan.
Learn more about their Medicare Advantage plan by clicking the button below.
Humana is a private health insurance company that gives you the opportunity to choose what type of plans you want, and the ones you qualify for.
It offers plans like HMO, PPO, to mention a few. HMOs, offer in-network services, while PPOs offer in and out of network services but at a higher cost.
This health insurance company offers mail delivery for prescription drugs with some plans and several resources for managing chronic diseases. It also has a plan called the “Humana Honor Plan” designed for military veterans.
The process for the Medicare Advantage Plan at Humana is pretty easy and straightforward and prevents you from the stress of having to open an account and wait for an email.
Humana recommends plans based on your condition, including listing coverage, premiums, specialists, and prescription costs.
According to A.M Best Firms Ratings, Humana was selected because of the financial stability of the company (received an A- [excellent] rating from A.M. Best) coupled with the number of unique benefits and plans it offers.
Get to know more about Humana by clicking the button below.
#3. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
Like Kaiser, Highmark is one of the largest healthcare providers insuring over 5million members. It offers the HMO and PPO plan, and it may include the Medicare Part D coverage.
However, in as much as these plans are available to everyone, they vary based on your location, the level of care required, and the policy and type of services that you select.
Additionally, the plan offers specialty services which include wellness and fitness programs, preventive services like how to prevent diabetes, and coverage for many over-the-counter medications (first aid kits, aspirin, insect bite prevention).
You can find Highmark facilities that offer this plan in most states. Its plans are available in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware, but some plans may not be available in specific geographic locations within these states.
Worldwide coverage is included, as long as you are traveling or living in a Blue Medicare Advantage PPO plan service area.
In a 2020 study by J.D power, Highmark’s Medicare Advantage plan members were deemed the most satisfied of those with any other health plan, surpassing Kaiser Foundation’s five-year record as number one for customer satisfaction.
AARP/UnitedHealthcare is considered a national leader when it comes to healthcare insurance and management.
It also offers a wide range of Medicare Advantage plans (eg, HMOs, Private Fee-For-Service, etc) and has well-detailed educational information about Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans on its website, including the option to receive a free Medicare guide via email.
AARP offers a “Medical Savings Account Plan” that combines the Medicare Advantage plan with a special savings account. Medicare funds the account and uses it to pay for the healthcare services you qualify for.
Almost all the Medicare Advantage plan offered by AARP comes with incentives like dental exams, vision and eyewear coverage, foot coverage, and lots more.
In addition, it offers low pays for visits to specialists like cardiologists provided they are in-network. However, the out-of-pocket maximums can be a bit on the high side, up to nearly $5,000.
A.M’s best firm ratings place AARP among the best medicare advantage plan providers because of its high CMS ratings, A- rating from AM Best, and benefits designed to help support long-term health and wellness for seniors.
To access the Medicare Advantage Plan in your state, you will have to enter your ZIP code on their website.
Click the button below to get started.
Aetna offers the HMO and PPO Medicare Advantage Plan and they have some of the widest ranges of coverage available.
The Advantage plan comes with a limited selection of special need plan that includes local healthy living resources, prescription drug deliveries, SilverSneakers fitness membership programs, and over-the-counter benefits to help you pay for things like vitamins and cold medicines. In addition, there are 24/7 on-call nursing services.
Aetna offers competitive rates for Medicare Advantage plans, many options starting at a $0 monthly premium rate. To access the program, You will need to talk to a licensed agent by phone to find out if coverage is available in your state and to get a quote for plans.
Find out more about the Aetna Medicare Advantage plan by clicking the button below.
Cigna offers many Medicare Advantage plans, most with a $0 premium. It combines all Medicare benefits into 1—Part A, Part B, and often Part D coverage—and some plans even include dental and vision.
Irrespective of its large number of low and $0 monthly premium plans, many Cigna plans still offer competitive benefits and even prescription drug coverage. But, the prices differ according to your location.
Cigna allows you to create your own plans with an increased range of services depending on your health needs. For individuals with special needs, the Special needs plans include access to a wider range of specialists, regular health assessments outside of annual physicals, and care transition assistance.
An analysis showed that Cigna was also chosen for its stability, financial soundness (AM’s Best Ratings gives Cigna an “A” (Excellent), and high CMS rating.
What Is The Difference Between an HMO and a PPO Plan?
Medicare Advantage HMO plans requires you to get your healthcare and services from providers within the plan’s network.
However, there are exceptions to this, such as when you need emergency or urgent care out-of-area. San Diego Financial Literacy center says that an HMO plan is cheaper than the PPO plans (provided you are seeing in-network providers).
While the Medicare Advantage PPO plans offer more flexibility compared to the HMO plan. The plan allows you to see different doctors or specialists outside the network without getting referrals.
When you visit an out-of-network doctor or specialist, you wouldn’t pay all the fees yourself. Part of it is covered by your PPO provider. However, visiting in-network doctors are still cheaper.
More so, monthly premiums for PPO plans tend to be higher than those of HMOs.
How Much Does a Medicare Advantage Plan Cost?
According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the average monthly premium cost for a Medicare Advantage plan is $23.63 in 2020. It is estimated to reduce by 11 percent in 2022 to $21.00.
Many of the plans have a no-cost premium, while others charge premiums as high as $160 or more. But the copay and deductible amounts vary from one rule to another
What Is the Difference Between a Medigap Plan and Medicare Advantage?
The key difference between these two plans lies in the cost and coverage. The Medicare Advantage plan is cheaper and has more coverage scope. It also lets you choose the coverage you want.
Whereas, the Medigap plan is more expensive and does not give you the chance to select the coverage you want.
Medicare Advantage plan is still a medicare plan but it offers more benefits as compared to the Medigap plan.
How To Join The Medicare Advantage Plan
Not all Medicare Advantage plans work the same way, ensure you do your research before enrolling.
To join the Medicare Advantage Plan, click on the Medicare button below, and follow the instructions.
Go through this list to discover the best medicare Advantage plans available to you. But bear in mind that if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you cannot enroll for a Medicare Supplemental insurance plan.
I hope this helps you!