Each year, more Medicare beneficiaries are turning to Medicare Advantage plans offered by private insurance providers to meet their health insurance needs. In fact, over 31 million older adults were enrolled in Medicare Advantage coverage in 2023, representing over 48% of all Medicare beneficiaries.
As these comprehensive health care plans continue to grow in popularity, older adults are approaching Medicare’s annual open enrollment period (which runs from October 15 to December 7) and the Medicare Advantage annual open enrollment period (which runs from January 1 to March 31) with more questions than ever before. Forbes Health is here to help clarify what your specific plan options are and which Medicare Advantage plan could best serve your needs for the year ahead.
Medicare Advantage Plans by State
Since Medicare Advantage plan eligibility is largely dependent on where a person lives, we gathered data specific to three counties in each state to provide an overview of the following factors:
- Plan availability
- Plan providers
- Average monthly premium rates
- Average in-network maximum out-of-pocket amounts
Click on your state below to explore what Medicare Advantage plans tend to look like in your area and learn how to simplify your enrollment process.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Medicare Advantage (Part C)?
Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) is a type of health insurance provided by private insurance companies to U.S. adults ages 65 and up, as well as younger individuals with certain disabilities and health conditions. The federal government pays a flat fee per enrollee to the insurance companies, which then provide the core benefits of Original Medicare, payment to care providers and oftentimes additional benefits.
What is every Medicare Advantage plan required to include?
Every Medicare Advantage plan must include the benefits provided by Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Part A covers 80% of hospital stays, skilled nursing, home health care and hospice care. Part B covers 80% of doctor’s visits, preventative care, mental health services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, lab services and other outpatient services.
How does Medicare Advantage differ from Original Medicare?
Medicare Advantage covers everything included in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), but most Medicare Advantage plans also include prescription drug coverage (Part D), and some plans provide dental and vision coverage and hearing aids and fitness benefits as well. These extra coverages and benefits vary depending on the plan you choose. While there are several distinctions between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage, one noteworthy difference is people enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan must pay both the monthly premium associated with Part B ($174.70 for most people in 2024) and the monthly premium associated with their Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan, which is described in the data above.
How does Medicare Advantage differ from Medicare Supplement (Medigap)?
Medicare Advantage plans serve as a substitute for Original Medicare, providing the same coverage plus additional benefits like prescription drugs coverage (Part D). Meanwhile, Medicare Supplement plans (commonly known as Medigap plans) are sold by private insurance companies to people enrolled in Original Medicare to help fill the gaps of that coverage. There are 10 types of Medigap plans—with letter names ranging from A to N—that provide standardized coverage and help pay for things like deductibles, coinsurance and copays. Another important difference to note: Medigap policies don’t cover prescription drugs. A person enrolled in Original Medicare who wants prescription drug coverage needs to purchase a separate Medicare Part D plan in addition to any Medicare Supplement plan.
Who can benefit most from Medicare Advantage coverage?
Any qualifying U.S. adult interested in convenient coverage options that are largely covered by a single insurer can benefit from a Medicare Advantage plan. People with chronic health conditions and specific coverage needs might also find bundled coverage under a Medicare Advantage plan to be more affordable than taking a piecemeal approach with Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) and Medigap plans.
If I choose a Medicare Advantage plan, what additional coverage do I need?
In short, any additional coverage needed depends on the Medicare Advantage plan you pick. Some plans provide an extensive list of additional benefits, including (but not limited to) dental, vision, hearing health, prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, transportation, fitness memberships and more. However, if you enroll in a less comprehensive plan, you might need to seek additional coverage for a desired benefit your plan is missing.
What insurance companies are the best providers of Medicare Advantage plans?
Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana, Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, Cigna and Anthem are the top Medicare Advantage providers, according to a Forbes Health analysis of U.S. insurance companies that offer these types of plans nationwide. We evaluated each provider based on the number of states they provide coverage in, the variety of benefits they offer, how they’re ranked by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and how they’re ranked in terms of their financial health by agencies like A.M. Best and how agencies like J.D. Power rank them regarding consumer feedback.