5 Things to Consider When Comparing Medicare Advantage Plans Side By Side

There are over 2,700 Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans available nationwide in 2019.1 So how do you select a plan that fits your health insurance needs?

Use the guide below to learn how to compare Medicare Advantage plans side by side and find the right coverage for your needs. Each of these five questions are among the most important to consider as you compare plans.

For additional help, speak with a licensed insurance agent who can help you compare plans by calling TTY Users: 711, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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1. What Medicare Advantage plans are available where you live?

Although there are more than 2,700 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.

Someone in a more populated area may have access to considerably more plans 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.

2. What Medicare Advantage plan offers the coverage you need?

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.

3. What Medicare Advantage plan fits your budget?

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 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.

4. Do Medicare Advantage plans have provider networks?

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.

5. What is the plan’s Medicare Star Rating?

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.

A licensed insurance agent can give you the Star Rating for any Medicare Advantage plans in your area that you are considering.

Get help finding the right Medicare Advantage plan for you

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 a licensed insurance agent at TTY Users: 711, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 

1 Jacobson, Gretchen. Damico, Anthony. Neuman, Tricia. Medicare Advantage 2019 Spotlight: First Look. (Oct. 16, 2018). Kaiser Family Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.kff.org/report-section/medicare-advantage-2019-spotlight-first-look-data-note.

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MedicareAdvantage.com is a website owned and operated by TZ Insurance Solutions LLC. TZ Insurance Solutions LLC and TruBridge, Inc. represent Medicare Advantage Organizations and Prescription Drug Plans having Medicare contracts; enrollment in any plan depends upon contract renewal.

Plan availability varies by region and state. For a complete list of available plans, please contact 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day/7 days a week or consult www.medicare.gov.

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.