Medicare Advantage Companies
Medicare Advantage plans are sold by private insurance companies. They cover everything Original Medicare does, but often offer additional benefits. Shopping around to find the right company for you can get you the coverage you need at a more affordable price.
An estimated 24.1 million Americans — 36 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries — were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans in 2020, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Medicare Advantage plans have become increasingly popular in recent years, and the foundation estimates they will account for 51 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries by 2030.
What Companies Offer Medicare Advantage Plans?
Seven large insurance companies dominate the Medicare Advantage plan marketplace. But there are scores of smaller companies that also offer affordable plans that may better meet your needs.
To find the plan that is right for you, you’ll need to compare both large and small firms and compare Medicare Advantage plans those companies offer.
- How long the company has been around.
- Number of Medicare Advantage plans available through the company.
- Pricing and your out-of-pocket costs.
- Size and financial strength of the company selling the plan.
- Whether the plan is available in your state.
- The company’s rating with A.M. Best, which rates companies in the health care industry.
- The company’s Medicare Advantage star rating (a 1 to 5 star-rating system).
Selecting the Right Medicare Advantage Company
Choosing the best Medicare Advantage company for you means comparing plans and researching the companies offering them. Make sure the plans you are considering offer the coverage you want at a price you can afford as you narrow down your choices.
- Health Care Needs
- Medicare Advantage plans bundle several different benefits, including Part D prescription drug coverage, extra benefits and lower out-of-pocket costs. You may want to compare the costs and benefits to Original Medicare and your ability to add Part D drug coverage and Medicare supplemental insurance (Medigap).
- While you can find Medicare Advantage plans with $0 monthly premiums, and the average monthly premium for plans is $23, remember that you will still have to pay the Medicare Part B premium.
- Extra Benefits
- If you would likely use vision, hearing and dental coverage, Medicare Advantage plans may be a better choice than Original Medicare for you. Calculate how much you’d pay out-of-pocket for these services and compare how much you’d save with an advantage plan.
- Your Overall Health
- If you have a serious or chronic disease, Medicare Advantage plans may be a better choice than Original Medicare with Medigap to limit your maximum out-of-pocket costs. Compare these limits between Medicare Advantage plans you’re considering.
- Comparing Medicare Advantage versus Medicare Supplement plans, Medigap will usually have higher premiums but Medicare Advantage plans typically have more out-of-pocket costs.
- Be sure to research the background and financial information of the company that is selling a Medicare Advantage plan. And know that similar plans may be more affordable.
Best Medicare Advantage Companies in 2021
Some of the largest and oldest health insurance companies in America offer Medicare Advantage plans. You will want to consider the financial stability of the insurer offering the plan you’re considering, how long the company’s been in business and various ratings the company has received based on its Medicare Advantage offerings.
- Aetna was acquired by CVS Health in a $69 billion merger in 2018, creating one of the largest health care giants in the United States. It has an A rating from A.M. Best and five-star Medicare Advantage rating from Medicare.
- Cigna was the fourth largest health insurance company in 2019, with $41.6 billion in revenue and 15.9 million members, according to Becker’s Healthcare. It has an A- rating from A.M. Best and a 4.5-star rating from Medicare.
- Started as a nursing home company in the 1960s, Humana moved into hospitals and health insurance in the 1980s. It was America’s fifth largest health insurer in 2019, with $41.6 billion in revenue and 14 million insured. A.M. Best gives it an A- rating and Medicare, a 4.5-star rating.
- Mutual of Omaha
- Founded in 1909, Mutual of Omaha is a Fortune 500 company offering a variety of insurance and financial services. It is one of the oldest and largest providers of Medigap policies and added Medicare Advantage plans in 2018. Mutual of Omaha has an A+ rating from A.M. Best.
- The largest health insurer in the U.S., UnitedHealthcare insured 49.5 million Americans and had $201 billion in revenue in 2019. It has an A rating from A.M. Best and its highest rated Medicare Advantage plans had a 5-star rating from Medicare.
7 Cited Research Articles
- Freed, M., Damico, A. and Neuman, T. (2020, April 22). A Dozen Facts About Medicare Advantage in 2020. Retrieved from https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/a-dozen-facts-about-medicare-advantage-in-2020/
- U.S. News & World Report. (2019, October 15). Best Insurance Companies for Medicare Advantage 2020. Retrieved from https://health.usnews.com/health-news/best-medicare-plans/best-insurance-companies-for-medicare-advantage-plans
- U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2019, September). Understanding Medicare Advantage Plans. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/12026-Understanding-Medicare-Advantage-Plans.pdf
- Haefner, M. (2019, January 10). America’s Largest Health Insurers in 2018. Retrieved from https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/payer-issues/america-s-largest-health-insurers-in-2018.html
- U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (n.d.). Medicare Advantage Plans Cover All Medicare Services. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers/what-medicare-health-plans-cover/medicare-advantage-plans-cover-all-medicare-services
- U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (n.d.). How do Medicare Advantage Plans Work? Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/sign-up-change-plans/types-of-medicare-health-plans/medicare-advantage-plans/how-do-medicare-advantage-plans-work
- U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (n.d.). Medicare Advantage Plans. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/sign-up-change-plans/types-of-medicare-health-plans/medicare-advantage-plans