Comparing Medicare Advantage Plans

Different Medicare Advantage plans have different benefits and costs, so it is important to shop around and find a plan that works for your coverage needs. There were more than 2,000 Medicare Advantage plans available in the United States in 2014, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).

Our plan comparison tool can help you compare plans available in your area. You can also call 1-855-916-8855 to compare plans over the phone with the help of a licensed agent.

You should look at the following 4 factors when comparing Medicare Advantage plans:

  1. Type of plan
  2. Plan benefits
  3. Star rating
  4. Out-of-pocket costs

Type of plan

There are 5 major types of plans. The type of plan you choose will affect your health care provider options, your drug coverage options, whether you need a referral to see a specialist, and your out-of-pocket costs.

For example, if you need a low-cost plan and can stay in-network for your health care, a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan may be suitable. If you are willing to pay extra for more freedom to visit pre-approved doctors or facilities, a Private Fee-For-Service (PFFS) plan may better suit your needs.

You should compare all of the major types of plans, understand their pros and cons, and choose the one that is best for you.

More info: Medicare Advantage plan types

Plan benefits

All Medicare Advantage plans must provide Original Medicare benefits, but some provide additional benefits such as prescription drug, vision, and/or dental coverage.

You should choose a plan with the benefits that you need most. For example, if you need several prescriptions, you should find out which Medicare Advantage plans offer prescription drug coverage. If you need vision coverage, you should find plans that offer vision benefits.

More info: Medicare Advantage plan benefits

Star rating

Medicare assigns star ratings to every available Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage plan star ratings give you an idea of the plan’s quality and performance. Ratings are generated by Medicare and are based on "information from member satisfaction surveys, plans, and health care providers," according to Medicare.gov.

Ratings range from 1 star (poor performance) to 5 stars (excellent performance).

Our online plan comparison tool will show you Medicare star ratings for plans available in your area.

Out-of-pocket costs

There are 2 things to look at when comparing out-of-pocket costs for Medicare Advantage plans: premiums and other costs such as co-payments and deductibles.

Some plans are zero-premium plans, but others charge monthly premiums that can vary widely from plan to plan. Some Medicare Advantage plans also may provide rebates for your Medicare Part B premium.

A cheaper plan may have lower monthly premiums, but it may have more restrictive network rules, as well as greater out-of-pocket costs such as co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles.

Our online plan comparison tool will show you both the monthly premiums and total estimated costs for plans in your area.