The 2020 enrollment period for Medicare Advantage (also known as Medicare Part C) is October 15-December 7, 2019. If you are looking to sign up, here are a few of the best Medicare Advantage plans and companies, from Aetna to United Healthcare.
Medicare Advantage Plans are an alternative or replacement to Medicare A & B (also referred to as “original Medicare”). They provide the same coverage as Medicare Parts A & B as well as additional benefits (such as vision or prescription drug coverage), not offered by basic Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans are purchased through private insurers and operate much like HMO’s or PPO’s with a certain network or doctors and medical providers that you can see within each plan and deductibles and co-pays for various services. With a variety of different options available; it pays to shop around. Here is a Guide to some of the top Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020.
Aetna Medicare Advantage Programs
Aetna offers five different HMO and PPO plans. While the HMO plans gives you access to a network of doctors and hospitals that you must use with referrals needed to see specialists, the PPO plans allows you a choice of medical providers with no specialist referrals required. Premiums for 2020 range from $0-$214 per month depending on plan with deductibles up to $1800. Both the HMO and PPO programs include prescription drug coverage, dental, vision and audiology services and access to fitness programs through Silver Sneakers™. Some plans also include transportation and meal delivery benefits. Aetna Medicare plans are currently available in 14 states.
Humana Medicare Advantage Programs
Humana’s programs offer some of the best values in Medicare Advantage Plans:
- Gold Plus HMO
- Offers no monthly premium
- No deductible for in-network medical services and $100 prescription drug deductible
- No co-pay for routine doctor visits, $50 co-pay for specialists and $450 for inpatient hospital care
- OTC Allowance – Quarterly fixed amount available to purchase over-the-counter medications
- Plan includes prescription drug, vision benefits and Silver Sneakers™.
- Access to mail order pharmacy
- Rewards for Healthy Habits – A personalized wellness and rewards program
Humana Choice PPO
- $101 monthly premium
- No deductible for in-network medical services, $320 for prescription drugs
- $10 co-pay for doctor visits, $45 for specialist and $300 for inpatient hospital care
- Includes prescription drug coverage, vision care and Silver Sneakers™.
- Choice of doctor and no specialist referrals needed
United Healthcare Medicare Advantage Programs
United Healthcare has partnered with the AARP to offer three HMO Medicare Advantage Plans.
Medicare Advantage Plan One
- $88 monthly premium
- $5 Co-pay for doctor visits, $35 for specialists, $3 co-pay for prescriptions
- $4200 out-of-pocket maximum
- Benefits include preventative dental, OTC medication, eyewear and hearing aids, Renew Active™
- fitness program and chiropractic/acupuncture coverage
Medicare Advantage Plan Two
- No monthly premium
- No co-pay for routine doctor visits, $50 co-pay for specialists and $3 co-pay for prescriptions
- $6700 out-of-pocket maximum
- Benefits include over-the-counter medications, Renew Active™ fitness program, hearing aids,
- podiatry care, access to 24 hr. nursing hotline and virtual doctor visits
Medicare Advantage Plan Three
- $45 monthly premium
- No co-pay for routine doctor visits, $45 co-pay for specialists and $3 co-pay for prescriptions
- Referral required to see specialists
- Out-of-pocket maximum $5900
- Benefits include dental care, over-the-counter medications, Renew Active™ fitness program,
- chiropractic and acupuncture care, hearing aids and virtual doctor visits
Kaiser Permanente offers the largest number of Medicare Advantage plans for an insurer – Key HMO, Vital HMO, Essential HMO, Optimal HMO and Basic HMO. Depending on the plan, premiums can range from $0-$295 per month with no deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums ranging from $2,000-$6,000 per year. All plans include Silver Fit® fitness center memberships and access to a 24-7 nursing hotline and all plans, with the exception of Basic HMO, include prescription drug coverage with no co-pay on selected generic drugs. Depending on the specific plan, vision, dental, hearing and alternative medicine benefits are available and there is access to dental services for an additional $54 per month.
Cigna Medicare Advantage
If you are looking for support on your medical journey, look no further than Cigna which offers low monthly premiums along with fitness programs and personalized wellness coaching. Cigna’s pharmacists and case management team of nurses and coaches will work behind the scenes to help individuals with their health care needs and in setting health care goals. In addition to all the benefits of Medicare A & B, dental, vision and prescription drug coverage, Cigna’s Medicare Advantage Plans offer access to behavioral health specialists, a “depression disease management program” and “substance use coaching”. Cigna will also “support you and your family with ‘transitions of care’ between health care settings such as from home to hospital or hospital to skilled nursing facility.” For those trying to maximize their health care dollar, Cigna offers access to over 30,000 preferred network pharmacies that over lower costs on prescription drugs, Express Scripts PharmaciesSM for home delivery and Healthy Rewards® that offers discounts on various health and wellness programs such as Gaiam Yoga, Jenny Craig, LASIK eye surgery and chiropractic, acupuncture and massage. Extra health is also available with prescription drug costs for those on limited incomes. Plans include Cigna-HealthSpring Medicare Advantage which offers low or no cost premiums and Cigna-HealthSpring Traditions (HMO SNP), a “special needs plan” for those who live in a nursing home or skilled nursing facility or who require nursing care at home.
It is important to note that not all plans listed above are available in all areas of the country and that premiums, deductibles and co-pays may vary depending on where you live. With the enrollment deadline fast approaching, now is the time to shop. To see whether you qualify or have access to the Medicare Advantage Plans mentioned, shop now.