Best Medicare Advantage Plans In 2022Find out which Medicare Advantage providers scored the highest in our ranking for 2022
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|Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare|
As Open Enrollment approaches, you may be wondering which providers are out there and if they match your needs. There are plenty of great private health care plans available through Medicare, so make sure you're taking advantage of everything it has to offer.
While there are many options to choose from, we've compiled a list of the top Medicare Advantage insurance companies based on their performance and overall customer satisfaction.
Whether you're looking for comprehensive coverage or something more specific, we can help you find the right provider. Check out our list and start comparing your options today.
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What Is Medicare Advantage?
Medicare is the U.S. federal health insurance program for:
People who are 65 or older.
Certain younger people with disabilities.
People with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, is a private health care option available to those enrolled in the federal Medicare program.
Medicare Advantage Plans are offered by private insurance companies and must follow certain guidelines set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
These plans typically include all of the benefits covered by Medicare Part A and Part B, as well as additional benefits such as prescription drug coverage, routine vision and dental care, and wellness programs.
Some plans may also offer coverage for long-term care or home health services. Medicare Advantage plans vary in cost, but most enrollees pay a monthly premium in addition to their Medicare Part B premium.
Our Top Pick
Rated highly on the CMS’s Medicare Star Rating System.
Vision and dental benefits are available in most plans.
$0-premium Medicare Advantage Plans in some counties.
Offers members additional extras such as access to their home delivery prescription drug program, meals at home program, SilverSneakers Fitness program, and over-the-counter benefits.
Some plans require a primary care physician (PCP).
They only provide certain extra benefits in specified locations.
Doesn’t offer PFFS (Private Fee-For-Service) or MSA (Medical Savings Account) plans.
As the third-largest for-profit Medicare insurance company, Aetna is widely known as a high-quality provider with excellent value plans that include vision care, dental, and hearing coverage.
The average star rating for Aetna's overall performance in 2021 was 4.06, but some of the company’s plans are rated even higher than this.
In 2021, most of Aetna's Medicare Advantage-Prescription Drug (MA-PD) members were on a plan with 4.5 stars or higher.
Aetna has consistently delivered cost-effective Medicare coverage to its members over the years. Their range of plans, comprehensive benefits, and overall coverage make them a top pick for anyone seeking Medicare coverage.
If you’d like to learn more about Aetna’s plans and what options are available, read our full review.
What Is the CMS Star-Rating System?
The rating system for Medicare health care plans was developed by the federal government and takes into account a variety of factors that affect quality.
If a Medicare Advantage Plan or Prescription Drug Plan receives a Five-Star rating, this means that it:
Makes significant improvements to its member’s physical health.
Actively assists in improving the health status of its beneficiaries.
Has little to no barriers that stop members from receiving care.
Provides comprehensive services that assist its beneficiaries in maintaining, monitoring, and improving their health.
Is rated highly by its members.
Excellent Customer Satisfaction
A range of Medicare Advantage Plans, including PFFS and SNPs.
Access to benefits such as the SilverSneakers fitness program, prescription drug coverage, and mail-order medication.
Zero-premium Medicare Advantage Plans in some areas.
Emergency coverage outside the U.S. for Humana members.
More than 95% of Humana members were on plans that scored highly in the CMS’s Star Ratings.
Higher rates than some competitors.
Plan options will vary depending on your county and state.
Quality of service and customer satisfaction will depend on location.
Humana is a leading Medicare Advantage provider that offers Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement Insurance, and Part D Plans in all 50 states. They represent 18% of the Medicare Advantage market and have around 4.5 million MA-PD members.
Partnerships with other industry-leading companies such as Walmart complement their comprehensive coverage to give their members access to medication throughout the country.
Most Humana members are on plans rated highly (4+) in the CMS’s Medicare Star Ratings.
Humana also offers Medicare Advantage SNPs in 12 states, making it one of the few providers that provide specialized health care insurance to Americans with unique needs.
As a member of Humana, you’ll enjoy access to health care facilities across the country and be able to get your medication delivered to your house with their comprehensive mail-order prescription program.
Read our latest review to learn more about Humana’s plans and what options are available to you.
What Is the Difference Between a Medicare Advantage Plan and Original Medicare?
The primary difference is that Original Medicare is administered by the federal government and Medicare Advantage is managed by third-party insurance companies that are contracted with Medicare. Both offer Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B benefits. Most Medicare Advantage Plans offer an option for Medicare Part D (prescription drug benefits). Overall, may save a bit of money on out-of-pocket expenses with a Medicare Advantage Plan. Most plans have low co-pays and deductibles, and there are even zero-premium plans.
For Extra Benefits
Has a vast network of coverage options.
Offers a 24/7 health information nurse line and other telehealth benefits.
Experienced in dealing with various health care needs and chronic care.
Additional perks such as health coaching, fitness plans, transportation for medical appointments, and pharmacy visits.
Only offers Medicare Advantage Plans in 18 states.
High out-of-pocket costs on some plans.
Cigna’s wide range of benefits and overall high Medicare star rating proves that it is a client-focused company that provides the excellent service to its members.
If you live in a covered area and are interested in a Medicare Advantage Plan that will give you value for money, consider one of Cigna’s plans.
Their in-depth health care knowledge and market-leading customer service mean they’re perfectly suited to assist people with complex medical needs and those with chronic conditions.
Cigna has partnered with various doctors, specialists, pharmacists, and case managers to ensure their members are looked after.
If you’d like to learn more about Cigna’s plans and what options are available, read our full review.
Types of Medicare Advantage Plans You Can Buy
The different types of plans available are MA-PD plans, HMO plans, PPO plans, SNP plans, and MSA plans.
HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations) require you to get your care from doctors, specialists, and hospitals in the plan’s network (except in an emergency). HMOs often have lower premiums than other types of MA plans.
PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations) let you see out-of-network doctors, but you will pay higher fees.
SNPs (Special Needs Plans) only enroll people with certain chronic conditions or disabilities, people who live in a nursing home, or those who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.
MSAs (Medical Savings Accounts) are a type of MSA plan that combines a high-deductible insurance policy with a medical savings account. The money in the savings account can be used to pay your deductible as well as other out-of-pocket costs not covered by your MA plan.
Large Network Size
One of the largest health insurance companies in the U.S.
Offers access to an extensive network of health care providers that members can use in all states.
Offer several plans, including MA, MA-PD, and Medicare Supplement Insurance.
Great benefits include telehealth services, at-home benefits, and dental and vision coverage on some plans.
A wide range of Medicare plans, options, and offerings for low-income beneficiaries.
76% of its members are on a UnitedHealthcare plan that received a 4-star rating or higher.
Other health insurance providers may offer cheaper plans.
They received some average scores from their members in the CMS’s ratings.
UnitedHealthcare is the largest health insurance company in the U.S. With over 1 million doctors and 6,500 hospitals, it offers its members a more comprehensive network of coverage than most Medicare Advantage providers.
Besides its network size, UnitedHealthcare brings a wealth of experience dealing with Medicare to help enrollees get the most out of their coverage. They also provide significant benefits to their members, which allow them to lead happier, healthier lives as they age.
UnitedHealthcare’s affordability is another reason to consider switching. Their range of plans and low prices make them the first choice of over 7 million Americans.
If you’d like to learn more about United Healthcare's plans and what options are available, read our latest review.
When Can I Enroll for Medicare?
Initial enrollment period (IEP) is the 7-month window when a person first becomes eligible for Medicare. During this time, people can enroll in Original Medicare (Parts A and B).
Open enrollment period (OEP) is the annual period when people can make changes to their Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans. The OEP runs from October 15 to December 7 each year.
General enrollment period (GEP) is a time when people who didn't enroll in Medicare during their IEP can sign up. The GEP takes place from January 1 to March 31 each year. Enrolling during the GEP may mean having to pay a late enrollment penalty.
Special enrollment periods (SEPs) are times outside the regular enrollment periods when people can enroll in Medicare. A few different situations can qualify someone for a special enrollment period, including losing coverage from a previous plan, moving to a new area, or qualifying for a new type of Medicare coverage.
Special enrollment periods last eight weeks and usually start the month after the event triggering the SEP.
For Cost Savings
Large variety of Medicare Advantage Plans.
They offer Medicare Supplement Insurance, Part D plans, and stand-alone vision and dental coverage.
A wide selection of support and caregiver resources to help their members.
Telehealth services and pharmacy support for their members across the country.
Additional benefits for members include personal home helpers, fitness programs, meal deliveries, and coverage for non-emergency medical transport.
Anthem’s Medicare plans are only available in 14 states.
Average Medicare Star Rating for 2021 was 3.59 stars out of 5 for 2021.
If you’re looking for a reliable Medicare Advantage Plan that provides additional benefits to make your life easier, then Anthem is a good choice.
Anthem’s wide selection of health care benefits makes it the ideal choice for people looking to make the most of their health insurance. Their multiple plan offerings allow anyone to find coverage to suit their needs.
They are an experienced health insurance company with more than 2.3 million Medicare enrollees. While they aren’t available in every state, people who can get coverage through Anthem should consider this provider.
To learn about Anthem’s plans and services, read our latest review.
What To Look For In A Medicare Advantage Plan
If you’re thinking about joining a private Medicare insurance plan, keep these points in mind while you decide:
Price: Consider how much the plan will cost each month, whether the policy is affordable, and whether you can pay if your monthly premiums rise.
Benefits: Ask your Medicare insurance agent or Medicare provider about the benefits you'll receive, and read the plan details to see if it meets your needs.
Out-of-pocket expenses: Ensure you are aware of any potential costs you may incur. Examine the coinsurance, deductibles, and monthly premiums in your plan.
Check out the insurance company offering the plan: Consider how many members they have, how long they've been in business, and how many areas they serve.
Lots of Coverage Options
Nationwide coverage with plans in 47 states.
Additional benefits include concierge services and RX cards for their members on specific plans.
A vast network of health care providers for their members to access.
A variety of Medicare Advantage, Supplement Insurance, and other Medicare coverage options in different areas.
Access to health programs, SilverSneakers, and OTC benefits in certain areas.
The quality of service, customer satisfaction, and coverage may vary based on your location.
Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) is a nonprofit organization that comprises 34 independent health care insurance companies that offer individual plans under the BCBS name.
BCBS has a long history in the health insurance industry, with over 3 million Medicare members and over 100 million health insurance members signing up for a plan.
While the quality and level of care may vary, BCBS offers one of the widest ranges of Medicare Advantage Plans around with various SNPs, HMOs, PPOs, and MSAs sold through their member organizations.
BCBS members also enjoy extra benefits that improve their lives and access to health care, such as the SilverSneakers fitness program, telehealth benefits, and vision, dental, and hearing services.
Read our guide to learn more about Blue Cross Blue Shield’s plans and what options are available.
Tips for Choosing a Medicare Advantage Plan
Figure out your budget: The first step is to calculate how much you can pay for coverage and whether you’ll be able to afford it for the rest of your life. Remember that you’ll need to cover any Medicare Advantage premiums on top of your Medicare Part A and B premiums.
Look at what coverage you’ll need: If you have a chronic disease or a family history of medical problems, you’ll need to look for plans that offer the right coverage. Similarly, look at your retirement plans and goals and try to find a plan that works for you.
Find out which plans are in your area: Each Medicare Advantage provider offers different plans and prices in each county. Use our easy plan finder or go to Medicare.gov to look at the plans that are available in your area.
Research the companies you’re interested in: Read reviews online and look at the company’s financial rating. Companies with a strong rating are considered more stable and less likely to end their Medicare Advantage Plan coverage.
Get quotes from different providers: This is the number one tip for everyone who is interested in getting Medicare Advantage. There are hundreds of plans available, so get multiple quotes before you commit to a single provider.
Speak to an insurance expert: Using the services of a Medicare insurance specialist can save you a lot of time when looking for a plan. An insurance expert can help you decide what coverage you need, which providers are right for you, and answer all your Medicare-related questions.
Remember the Medicare enrollment dates: Enrolling in Medicare at the right time is crucial if you want to save money and get covered quickly. If you’d like to learn more about this, read our guide to enrollment periods.
Medicare Terms You Should Know
Premiums are payments you’ll need to make to have insurance coverage. Both Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage have monthly premiums.
Deductibles are amounts that Medicare recipients must cover before their Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage Plan will cover qualifying medical expenses.
Coinsurance is the portion of costs for treatment that need to be covered by Medicare enrollees. To learn more about this check out this article.
Co-payments are set fees that you’ll need to pay for services, items, and treatment you receive. The amount you pay will depend on the type of expense and your Medicare Advantage Plan.
Yes, you switch from Medicare Advantage to original Medicare. The process is pretty simple, too. All you have to do is contact your Medicare Advantage plan and request to be disenrolled.
Yes, you still pay Medicare premiums with a Medicare Advantage plan. However, Advantage plans often cover additional services, such as dental and vision care, which are not covered by Medicare. This means that Medicare Advantage plans can provide significant savings for beneficiaries who need extra coverage.
The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees is $170.10 for 2022. The annual deductible for Medicare Part B benefits is $233. Remember that the Medicare Part B premium is subject to change each year, and the deductible may also increase if costs go up.
Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans are both health insurance options for seniors. Original Medicare is a government-run program that provides basic coverage, while Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurers and typically provide more robust coverage.
No, Medicare does not cover 100 percent of hospital bills. Medicare Part A does cover hospital stays, but there is a deductible you'll need to pay first and coinsurance amounts after 60 days. So while Medicare does provide some coverage for hospital bills, there are still some costs you'll need to cover.
How do I know if I qualify for Medicare?
Medicare is open to people who are age 65 or older, younger people with disabilities and to those with End Stage Renal Disease. Learn more about Medicare eligibility.
When is the enrollment period for Medicare?
There are a few times when you can enroll in Medicare programs. The Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Part A & B is between January 1 and March 31 of each year. Annual Enrollment Period runs from October 15 and December 7 of each year and during this time:
- You can switch from Medicare Parts A & B to a Part C plan
- You can switch from Medicare Part C back to Parts A & B
- If you have or are signing up for Medicare Part A & B you can join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan
- If you have Medicare Part C you can switch to a new Part C plan.
What is a Medigap/Medicare Supplement plan and how do they work?
Medicare Advantage plans are different than and separate from MediGap plans. Benefits provided from within each plan will vary, and consumers cannot have both Medicare Advantage and MediGap coverage concurrently.
What is a Special Enrollment Period and how does it change my eligibility?
You can make changes to your Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug coverage when certain events happen in your life. Such as…
- You change where you live
- You lose your current coverage
- You have a chance to get other coverage (employer, TRICARE or VA, PACE plan)
- Your plan changes its contract with Medicare
- Other special situations
Are there different types of Medicare Advantage plans?
Yes - there are 6 types of Medicare Advantage health plans. These include: Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), Private Fee-for-Services Plans (PFFSs), Special Needs Plans (SNPs), Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans (MSAs), Point of Service Plans (POSs). Learn more about Medicare Advantage Plans.
What is general Medicare and when am I eligible to enroll?
Medicare is a health insurance program for:
- People age 65 or older.
- People under age 65 with certain disabilities.
- People of all ages with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant).
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