There are 3,834 Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans available nationwide in 2022.1 So how do you select a plan that fits your health insurance needs?
You can use our plan finder tool to compare Medicare Part C plans side by side online today. You can also call to speak with a licensed insurance agent who can help you compare Medicare Advantage plans that may be available where you live.
Speak with a licensed insurance agent
Although there are more than 3,000 Medicare Advantage plans sold nationwide, you can only enroll in a plan that is available in your area. Medicare Advantage plan carriers and the plans they offer will vary from one region, state or zip code to another.
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Plan benefits may vary and aren't available in all areas. Some plans may offer other benefits that aren't listed here.
Someone in a more populated area may have access to considerably more plans with different benefits than a person in a more rural area. You could also potentially have access to a completely different set of plans than your friend or loved one who lives a state away.
The first step in comparing Medicare Advantage plans is to contact a licensed insurance agent who can let you know which Medicare Advantage plans are available in your area. You can call TTY Users: 711 to get started.
You can also compare Medicare Advantage plans by state.
In addition to Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B benefits (medical insurance), many Medicare Advantage plans may offer additional benefits that aren’t covered by Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B).
A critical step in comparing plans is to analyze which Medicare Advantage plans provide coverage for what’s important to your care. Do you take prescription drugs? Do you wear glasses or have hearing aids?
These are just some of the additional health needs you might want to consider when comparing Medicare Advantage plans.
Medicare Advantage premiums, deductibles and coinsurance amounts are not set by the federal government. Each carrier is free to set their own rates for each plan, so Medicare Advantage costs can differ from one plan to the next.
Some Medicare Advantage plans offer $0 premiums, though $0 premium plans may not be available in all locations. Some plans might charge a higher premium than another plan but offer lower deductibles or coinsurance amounts.
Medicare Advantage plans feature an annual out-of-pocket spending limit, which can also vary from one plan to the next.
Take the time to do the math and determine which plan may be more affordable for your situation. A licensed insurance agent can help you compare the costs of Medicare Advantage plans from different carriers that offer plans in your area.
There are different types of Medicare Advantage plans, and each one has a different set of rules about which health care providers you can visit for care and how that care is covered by your plan.
For instance, an HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) plan may limit your coverage to a network of participating providers. Meanwhile, a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) plan may offer more flexibility in the doctors you can see.
Networks can span different areas and can include different doctors, hospitals and specialists. You may find it important to consider which type of plan you prefer and whether or not your favorite doctor or pharmacy participates in a given plan.
All Medicare Advantage plans are evaluated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Every year, Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system.
The Medicare Star Ratings, which use anywhere from one to five stars, are based on criteria such as services offered, pricing, customer service and member complaints.
90 percent of beneficiaries of Medicare Advantage plans that include prescription drug coverage are enrolled in a plan rated four stars or higher, which are considered top-rated plans.2
A licensed insurance agent can give you the Star Rating for any Medicare Advantage plans in your area that you are considering.
There are several types of Medicare Advantage plans:
Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage differ in several ways:
Once you are enrolled in Medicare Advantage, you will no longer receive your Medicare benefits from Original Medicare. You will receive them from your Medicare Advantage plan. One notable exception is hospice care, which is still covered by Medicare Part A.
Like Medicare Advantage, Medigap plans are sold by private insurance companies. However, the way they function is different.
You don’t have to compare Medicare Advantage plans all by yourself. You can get help comparing Medicare Advantage plans side by side and reviewing their costs, benefits, network restrictions and Medicare Star Ratings.
Get started by calling to speak with a licensed insurance agent.
Speak with a licensed insurance agent
1 Freed M, et al. (Nov. 2, 2021). Medicare Advantage 2022 Spotlight: First Look. Kaiser Family Foundation. www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/medicare-advantage-2022-spotlight-first-look.
2 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (Oct. 8, 2021). Fact Sheet – 2022 Part C and D Star Ratings. https://www.cms.gov/files/document/2022-star-ratings-fact-sheet1082021.pdf.
Christian Worstell is a licensed insurance agent and a Senior Staff Writer for MedicareAdvantage.com. He is passionate about helping people navigate the complexities of Medicare and understand their coverage options.
His work has been featured in outlets such as Vox, MSN, and The Washington Post, and he is a frequent contributor to health care and finance blogs.
Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He currently lives in Raleigh, NC.
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