Medicare Advantage in Massachusetts

Looking for Massachusetts Medicare Advantage Plans? Enter your ZIP below to compare affordable or $0 premium plans in your area.

Massachusetts state

Information about Medicare Advantage Plans in Massachusetts

Quick links:

24 percent of Medicare beneficiaries in Massachusetts were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plan in 2019.1

There are 318 different Massachusetts Medicare Advantage plans in 2019.1 Not every plan is available in each county, so it's important to find out which ones are offered where you live.

A licensed insurance agent can help you compare the availability, benefits and costs of Medicare Advantage plans in your area of Massachusetts. Read below to learn more about Medicare in your state.

Average costs of Medicare Advantage in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Medicare Advantage plan premiums in 2019 came out to $87 per month.

That average was affected by the 76 available plans that feature $0 monthly premiums.

  • Average monthly premium cost in 2019 (weighted): $87
  • Average in-network out-of-pocket spending limit: $4,494
  • Average deductible in 2019 (weighted): $246.111

Individual plan premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs may vary greatly depending on where you live and the plan you have.

You can view the 2019 average Massachusetts Medicare Advantage plan monthly premiums by county listed below in this guide.

A licensed insurance agent can help you compare Medicare Advantage plan costs in your area.

Compare Massachusetts Medicare Advantage plan costs

Compare Plans

Or call TTY Users: 711 24/7 to speak with a licensed insurance agent.

Medicare Eligibility & Enrollment

If you want to enroll in Medicare Advantage in Massachusetts, you must first be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, often referred to as Original Medicare.

To be eligible for Original Medicare at age 65, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident who has lived in the U.S. for five continuous years.

  • You or your spouse must have worked long enough to be eligible for Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits.

  • You or your spouse must be government employees or retirees who have not paid into Social Security but have paid Medicare payroll taxes.

You may also be eligible for Medicare benefits under 65 if:

  • You have been receiving Social Security disability benefits or certain Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits for at least 24 months.

  • You have ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease).

  • You have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), and you or your spouse have paid Social Security taxes for a certain length of time.

It’s important to note that if you have ESRD, you may not qualify for most Medicare Advantage plans. If you have ESRD, you may be able to enroll in a Massachusetts Medicare Special Needs Plan (SNP) that is specifically designed to help meet your health care needs.

How to sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan in Massachusetts

The first time you may be able to enroll in a Massachusetts Medicare Part C plan is during your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period (IEP).

Medicare Initial Enrollment Period graphic

Your Medicare IEP starts three months before your 65th birthday. It includes the month of your 65th birthday and then continues for another three months after your birthday.

Additional times at which you may sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan include:

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period graphic

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period: January 1 – March 31

If you're already enrolled in a Part C plan, from January 1 to March 31 every year, you may switch Medicare Advantage plans or drop your Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare.

If you return to Original Medicare during this period, you'll be able to join a Medicare standalone prescription drug plan (Medicare Part D).

Medicare AEP graphic

Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP): October 15 – December 7

From October 15 to December 7 every year, you may enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan or switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another.

You may also drop your existing Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare.

During AEP, you may also join, switch or drop a Medicare Part D plan. 

Medicare Special Enrollment Periods (SEP)

You may potentially be granted a Medicare Special Enrollment Period (SEP) at any time throughout the year for qualifying circumstances.

A licensed insurance agent can help you find out if you qualify for a Medicare Special Enrollment Period.

Find a Massachusetts Medicare Advantage plan

Compare Plans

Or call TTY Users: 711 24/7 to speak with a licensed insurance agent.

Top-rated Medicare Advantage Plans in Massachusetts 2020

Each year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issues Star Ratings for all Medicare Advantage plans using a system of one to five stars.2

In order for a Medicare Advantage plan to be considered a top-rated plan, it must have four or more stars out of five stars.

There are 291 top-rated 2019 Medicare Advantage plans in Massachusetts that are rated four stars or higher. This is over 91 percent of all MA plans in Massachusetts in 2019.

Medicare Star Ratings
Star Ratings




Above Average




Below Average


Medicare Advantage plans are rated in the following five categories:

  • Preventive care and health maintenance (screenings, tests, vaccines, etc.)
  • Management of chronic conditions
  • Member experiences and ratings of the plan
  • Member complaints, problems receiving services and member retention
  • Customer service

The information for the star ratings is gathered from information that is submitted to Medicare, Medicare’s regular monitoring activities and member surveys.

List of Medicare Advantage Plans Available in Massachusetts in 2020

To view a list of plans offered in your area within Massachusetts, use our plan comparison tool.

Find a Massachusetts Medicare Advantage plan

Compare Plans

Or call TTY Users: 711 24/7 to speak with a licensed insurance agent.

Private insurance companies offer Medicare Advantage plans in Massachusetts

Multiple insurance carriers may offer Medicare Advantage plans in Massachusetts, depending on where you live.

Private insurance companies offer Medicare Advantage plans that may be unique to the plan area they serve.

Call to speak with a licensed insurance agent who can help you compare the Medicare Advantage plans that are sold by insurance companies in your area.

When you’re shopping for Medicare Advantage plans in Massachusetts, you can compare plans from several different carriers by using some of the following information:

  • The Medicare Star Ratings can give you an idea of a plan’s overall quality.

  • Agencies like A.M. Best, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s can provide information about an insurance company’s credit rating and financial standing.

  • Websites such as the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports can teach you about a company’s reputation among its customers.

  • You can read through Medicare Advantage plan reviews and testimonials from customers.

Massachusetts Medicare Advantage plans by county

Learn more about Medicare Advantage plans in some of Connecticut's most populous counties.

The chart below provides some more information about 2019 Massachusetts Medicare Advantage plans by county.1

  • Essex County and Hampden County each had the most top-rated Medicare Advantage plans (4 stars or higher) in Massachusetts in 2019, with 29 such plans in each county.
2019 MA Medicare Advantage by County
County Total of County MA Enrollees % of Medicare Beneficiaries Enrolled in MA Number of Plans Available Number of $0 Premium Plans Available % Enrolled in a $0 Premium Plan
Barnstable 11886 15% 22 4 27.1%
Berkshire 2958 8% 11 1 9.1%
Bristol 24300 19% 29 8 37.8%
Dukes 158 3% 1 0 0.0%
Essex 37902 23% 32 7 30.2%
Franklin 4020 21% 20 4 22.0%
Hampden 34500 32% 30 8 21.2%
Hampshire 7190 20% 27 7 17.7%
Middlesex 70879 25% 28 7 26.5%
Nantucket 74 4% 1 0 0.0%
Norfolk 29548 21% 25 6 18.5%
Plymouth 21301 18% 32 8 27.3%
Suffolk 31430 27% 30 8 45.3%
Worcester 53981 33% 30 8 24.6%

MA Medicare Advantage enrollees by plan type

The chart below illustrates the percentage of 2019 Massachusetts Medicare Advantage enrollees that are enrolled in each primary type of Medicare Advantage plan.1

Plan type Percentage of Massachusetts enrollees (2019)
HMO 73.8%
Local PPO 26.2%
Regional PPO <1%

The major types of Medicare Advantage plans include:

  • HMO
    Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) usually requires patients to use health care providers and pharmacies that are part of the plan’s network (except in the case of emergencies) while also typically requiring a referral from a primary care doctor in order to see a specialist.

  • PPO
    Medicare Advantage beneficiaries in a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) are able to see providers outside of their plan’s network, often at a higher cost.

    Beneficiaries in this type of plan typically pay less out of pocket if they choose to receive medical services from providers within their plan’s network.

    PPO plans typically do not require patients to acquire a referral before visiting with a specialist.

  • PFFS
    A Private Fee-For-Service (PFFS) plan determines how much it will pay to health care providers and how much the patient will pay when care is received.

    With a PFFS plan, you can typically receive care from any doctor, hospital or health care provider that accepts your plan’s terms. Not all providers will accept these terms, however.

  • SNP
    A Special Needs Plan (SNP) is a type of Medicare Advantage plan limited to people with certain chronic conditions and other specific characteristics.

    Typically, you must receive care from health care providers and hospitals within your SNP network, except for in cases when you need emergency or urgent care and when someone who has End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) needs out-of-area kidney dialysis.

Not all of these types of plans may be available in your area. A licensed insurance agent can help you compare the types of 2019 Massachusetts Medicare Advantage plans that are available where you live.

Local health insurance resources in Massachusetts

  • The SHINE organization of Massachusetts is a state program providing free health insurance counseling, assistance and information to the Massachusetts Medicare beneficiaries and their families.

    SHINE may be contacted at 1-800-243-4636 (option #3) with any questions regarding Medicare benefits or rights.

  • You can also explore more information about the insurance industry in Massachusetts by visiting the state’s Division of Insurance website.

  • Massachusetts Prescription Drug Assistance Programs
    The state of Massachusetts has a number of programs designed to help with the cost of prescription drugs. There are programs for both Medicare beneficiaries and non-Medicare beneficiaries alike that can cover the cost of premiums and cost-sharing or even lower the cost of the drugs themselves.


1's The Best States for Medicare in 2021 report. (Oct. 27, 2020).

2 Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5- star rating system.