$0 Premium 2020 Medicare Advantage Plans May Be Available Near You

The fall Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) begins soon, starting on October 15, 2019, and lasting until December 7, 2019. This period is sometimes called the Fall Medicare Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans.

You can use the guide below to help you shop and compare Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans – including how to find top-rated plans – so you can find a 2020 Medicare Advantage plan that fits your needs. 

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

What are the top Medicare Advantage plans of 2020?

Each October, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) releases its annual Star Ratings.1

The CMS rates all Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plans each year on a five-star scale.

The rating criteria includes a plan’s:

  • Coverage of preventive care like screenings and vaccines
  • Management of chronic conditions
  • Member experience with the plan
  • Member complaints and changes in plan performance
  • Customer service
  • Drug safety and accuracy of drug pricing

The information used to score each plan comes from member surveys, Medicare’s regular monitoring activities and information that is submitted to Medicare by administrators and the plans themselves.

The star rating system is as follows:

Five stars: Excellent

Four stars: Above average

Three stars: Average

Two stars: Below average

One star: Poor

If a plan receives a rating of fewer than three stars for three consecutive years, it becomes flagged as a low-performing plan and may be removed from the market. 

Plans that receive 4 stars or higher are considered top-rated Medicare Advantage plans.

Once the 2020 Medicare Star Ratings are released, a licensed insurance agent can help you find out if any top-rated 2020 Medicare Advantage plans are available near you.

What is my Annual Notice of Change (ANOC)?

Each member of a Medicare Advantage plan will receive an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) every year, typically in late September or early October.

The ANOC letter provides a summary of any changes to the plan’s costs or coverage for the following year. 

Your 2020 Annual Notice of Change should be sent out just prior to the Annual Enrollment Period so you can review your plan details ahead and consider your coverage options if you feel that you want to switch Medicare Advantage plans or make another chance to your coverage. 

What qualities can I look for in a Medicare Advantage plan?

What sort of factors might make a Medicare Advantage plan a good fit for you?

Service in your area

You can only belong to a Medicare Advantage plan that serves the area in which you live.

The selection of plans will vary from one county or state to another, so any plan that does not service your area can immediately be crossed off your list. 

Providers you can use

There are several types of Medicare Advantage plans, such as HMOs or PPOs, and each plan typically comes with its own network of participating providers.

The best Medicare Advantage plan for your needs may include a network of providers that includes your favorite doctors or hospitals. After all, how can you consider a plan to be at the top of your list if you can’t use it to see your favorite doctor or visit your nearest pharmacy?

Benefits you need

Some Medicare Advantage plans may provide coverage for benefits that Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) doesn’t cover.

These extra benefits are unique to each plan and may include things like:

  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Allowances for hearing aids
  • Prescription drug coverage
  • Gym and wellness program memberships
  • Transportation
  • Home modifications to help you age in place (such as wheelchair ramps or bathroom grab bars)

Plan and benefit availability varies by carrier and location.

Therefore, the “top” Medicare Advantage plan is not necessarily the same for everyone. After all, everyone has different health care needs.

For example, prescription drug coverage may be highly important to one person, but not for someone else. Shopping for a Medicare Advantage plan of 2020 requires that you determine which benefits are of most importance to you. 

A plan that fits your budget

When shopping for plans, consider the monthly premium that comes along with it. And keep in mind that some plans feature a $0 premium

Also be sure to consider the amount of the deductible (the amount you’ll pay out of pocket before the plan’s coverage begins) and the copayments or coinsurance (the portion you’ll have to contribute after the deductible has been met).

Insurance companies that provide plans near you

Medicare Advantage plans are sold by a wide range of insurance companies.

As you compare Medicare Advantage insurance companies, you can consider their financial strength ratings from reporting agencies like A.M. Best, Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and the Better Business Bureau.

You may also consider reading MedicareAdvantage.com customer reviews.

How to shop for Medicare Advantage plans

Call to speak with a licensed insurance agent who can help you shop for Medicare Advantage plans.

A licensed agent can:

  • Provide you with a list of plans available for purchase in your area, possibly from several insurance carriers.

  • Review the cost, coverage and other details of each plan in your area and answer any questions you may have about the plan.

  • Discuss your specific health care needs to help you pick a plan that fits your needs.

  • Help determine your eligibility and, if you’re eligible, help you sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan. 

The Annual Enrollment Period

Medicare AEP graphic

The Annual Enrollment Period (AEP, sometimes called the fall Medicare Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans) begins October 15, 2019, and ends on December 7, 2019.

During Medicare AEP, you may sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan for 2020 coverage or switch from one plan to another. 

If you do not take any action during AEP, your options for enrolling in or switching Medicare Advantage plans may be limited during the rest of the year, depending on your circumstances. 

You may be able to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan at other times of the year if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). A licensed insurance agent can help you find out if you’re eligible for a Special Enrollment Period.

Contact a licensed insurance agent today for help finding the best Medicare Advantage plan for you. We have helped over 5.8 million people compare their Medicare coverage options.2

Find Medicare Advantage plans in your area

Compare Plans

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