The 10 Best & Worst Medicare Advantage Plans

JJ Starr
Written by
JJ Starr
Photo of an Insurify author
Written by
JJ Starr
Insurance Writer
J.J. Starr is a health and finance writer with a background in banking, lending, and financial advising. She holds a Series 6, FINRA, and life insurance licensure and a master's degree from New York University. Through her writing, she strives to use her decade of experience to help consumers make sound financial choices. Connect with J.J. on LinkedIn.
John Leach
Edited by
John Leach
Photo of an Insurify author
Edited by
John Leach
Insurance Content Editor at Insurify
John Leach is an insurance content editor who has worked in print and online. He has years of experience in car and home insurance and strives to make these topics easy to understand for everyone. He has a linguistics degree from UC Santa Barbara.

Updated October 29, 2021

Reading time: 8 minutes

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Why you can trust Insurify

Insurify partners with top insurance companies to provide a comprehensive comparison experience. However, the insurance experts writing our content operate independently of our partners. Check out reviews from over 3,000 satisfied customers, how we make money, our data methodology, and our editorial standards.

Because you deserve the best possible Medicare coverage.

So you’ve weighed the pros and cons of original Medicare and a Medicare Advantage plan. If you’ve decided that a Medicare Advantage plan is right for you, then you naturally want the best plan out there. Luckily, annual research shows that some companies regularly rise above the fray to offer the best plans with the best service. This article will discuss who’s getting high marks, and show you how to compare plans.

Saving money on Medicare is easy. Just use the Insurify Medicare comparison tool to find the right Medicare plan for you. Uncover options in your area at no cost to you. Try it now!

What Are the Top-Rated Medicare Advantage Plans?

Top rated plans offer additional coverage options and excellent customer service for an affordable price. Below are the best-rated Medicare Advantage plans that scored highest among the hundreds of plans that we analyzed.

Top Medicare Advantage Plans in America

1. KelseyCare Advantage Rx, Texas - Score: 81.71 (Tie)

1. CareOne PLUS, Florida - Score: 81.71 (Tie)

3. Anthem MediBlue Prime Select, Ohio - Score: 81.30

4. Tufts Medicare Preferred HMO Basic Rx, Massachusetts - Score: 80.79

5. Tufts Medicare Preferred HMO Saver Rx, Massachusetts - Score: 80.09

6. KelseyCare Advantage Essential+Choice (No Rx), Texas - Score: 79.63 (Tie)

6. KelseyCare Advantage Essential (No Rx), Texas - Score: 79.63 (Tie)

8. Essence Advantage Select, Missouri - Score: 78.38 (Tie)

8. Aetna Medicare Gold Advantage Prime, Missouri - Score: 78.38 (Tie)

8. Essence Advantage Select, Illinois - Score: 78.38 (Tie)

While you may not have access to the exact plan, you should take note of the providers that make this list.

#1 KelseyCare Advantage Rx, Texas

Insurify Composite Score: 81.71 (Tie)

  • Monthly Premium: $0

  • Annual Drug Deductible: $100

  • Annual Out-of-pocket Limit: $3,450

There are a lot of low price tags all over the plan that received our highest marks. That includes $0 for a primary care or preventive care visit. And $0 for hearing aids is a big win. Basic dental, hearing, and vision care is also covered.

While many services or equipment do come with higher copays or coinsurance rates, the low threshold for out-of-pocket expenses helps reign in costs. Not to mention, this plan comes with great customer reviews for service.

#1 CareOne PLUS, Florida

Insurify Composite Score: 81.71 (Tie)

  • Monthly Premium: $0

  • Annual Drug Deductible: $0

  • Annual Out-of-pocket Limit: $1,500

This CareOne Plus plan offers a lot of value to its enrollees. You’ll find low-cost prescription co-pays, plus $0 copays to see a primary care doctor, specialist, or for preventative checkups. There’s also no copays for diagnostic procedures and lab services.

You also receive generous hearing, vision, and dental benefits for all routine care. And mental health service copays are all set at $0 per visit. Inpatient care at the hospital or in skilled nursing facilities also come with some of the lowest copays around. It’s no wonder this plan tops our list.

We should note that, depending on where you live, this plan may have slightly higher costs.

#3 Anthem MediBlue Prime Select, Ohio

Insurify Composite Score: 81.30

  • Monthly Premium: $0

  • Annual Drug Deductible: $0

  • Annual Out-of-pocket Limit: $3,450

Though this plan has a limited service area compared to other Anthem plans in Ohio, it packs a lot of benefits into the plan. The first thing you should notice is the $0 monthly premium, drug deductible, and health deductible. Plus a very low out-of-pocket limit.

But this plan also offers low-cost prescription copays, and low-cost visits to see primary care, preventive care, and specialist doctors. Finally, you should also note that you get generous coverage for hearing, preventive dental, and routine vision.

#4 Tufts Medicare Preferred HMO Basic Rx, Massachusetts

Insurify Composite Score: 80.79

  • Monthly Premium: $61

  • Annual Drug Deductible: $225

  • Annual Out-of-pocket Limit: $3,450

This plan includes low co-pays for generic prescription drugs, doctor visits (for both primary care physicians and specialists), diabetes supplies, and preventive dental. You’ll also find competitive rates for diagnostic procedures, lab services, and diagnostic imaging. Plus $0 copays for some vision care, mental health services, and rehabilitation services.

Although comprehensive dental is not included, you can choose to add that supplemental benefit for just $17 a month.

#5 Tufts Medicare Preferred HMO Saver Rx, Massachusetts

Insurify Composite Score: 80.09

  • Monthly Premium: $0

  • Annual Drug Deductible: $250

  • Annual Out-of-pocket Limit: $7,550

Here’s a plan with a $0 monthly premium, plus $0 copays for Tier 1 drugs from preferred retailers. You’ll also find $0 copays for preventive care office visits, preventive dental care (except fluoride treatments)

However, this plan doesn’t offer much by way of comprehensive dental. Further, the out-of-pocket limit is set higher than several plans on this list. Even so, people who prefer  “paying when using” vs “paying upfront” would do well with this top-tier plan.

#6 KelseyCare Advantage Essential+Choice (No Rx), Texas

Insurify Composite Score: 79.63 (Tie)

  • Monthly Premium: $0

  • Annual Drug Deductible: $0

  • Annual Out-of-pocket Limit: $3,450

So long as you don’t mind buying your prescription coverage a la carte, this plan offers you a ton of low-cost benefits. That includes $0 copays for in-network visits for primary care and preventive services. And just $20 to see a specialist. That’s in addition to routine dental, vision, and hearing care.

The main benefit of this plan is that it allows you to access out-of-network care if you need it. Though out-of-network care is more expensive, the flexibility is useful for seniors with special healthcare needs.

#6 KelseyCare Advantage Essential (No Rx), Texas

Insurify Composite Score: 79.63 (Tie)

  • Monthly Premium: $0

  • Annual Drug Deductible: $0

  • Annual Out-of-pocket Limit: $3,450

Again, this is a plan that does not provide prescription drug coverage. Even so, you’ll find a lot of low-cost benefits. That means $0 copays for primary care, preventive, and vision visits. Plus $20 copays for specialist, hearing, and mental health visits.

Routine dental clocks in at $25 for routine care. But there is no coverage for comprehensive dental. All-in-all, this is a solid plan for seniors with basic needs.

#8 Essence Advantage Select, Missouri

Insurify Composite Score: 78.38 (Tie)

  • Monthly Premium: $0

  • Annual Drug Deductible: $0

  • Annual Out-of-pocket Limit: $2,900

This plan found its way onto the list because of the low-cost care it offers Medicare beneficiaries. That includes $0 copays for Tier 1 and Tier 2 drugs from preferred retailers. Plus, $0 copays for preventive and primary care office visits, some diagnostic services, preventive dental, and routine vision.

The main drawback is that this plan doesn’t offer coverage for hearing aids, though hearing exams have a low $20 copay. On a final note, your actual plan costs may change depending on your county.

#8 Aetna Medicare Gold Advantage Prime, Missouri

Insurify Composite Score: 78.38 (Tie)

  • Monthly Premium: $0

  • Annual Drug Deductible: $0

  • Annual Out-of-pocket Limit: $3,450

Tied for eighth place, this plan has a services area that’s fairly limited compared to others, though the premium, plan deductible, and prescription drug deductible are $0. This plan offers great co-pay rates for vision, dental, hearing, and mental health services and also offers low coinsurance for diabetic supplies. This plan’s CMS rating is 4.5 stars out of 5.

#8 Essence Advantage Select, Illinois

Insurify Composite Score: 78.38 (Tie)

  • Monthly Premium: $0

  • Annual Drug Deductible: $0

  • Annual Out-of-pocket Limit: $1,900

Not only does this plan have a $0 premium, drug deductible, and health deductible, it also has one of the lowest out-of-pocket limits in the country. Plus $0 copays for Tier 1 and Tie 2 drugs from preferred retailers.

You’ll get $0 copays for preventive and primary care visits, preventive dental, and routine vision. However, you won’t find any coverage for hearing aids or comprehensive dental. But overall, this is a great, low-cost plan.

Methodology: Insurify Composite Score

We calculated the Insurify Composite Score for Medicare Advantage Plans using several factors. We chose the factors that most influence the quality of the plan. That includes the extent of coverage, costs, and the rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The CMS assigns a star rating to each plan that’s been around for at least one year. The CMS bases the rating on its quality, variety of services offered, the entire cost of the plan. There are a few other, less consequential factors that can also influence the CMS rating.

Our data science team used these variables and weighted them by importance. From there, we combined them into a single, easy-to-understandable score for each plan. Every Insurify Composite Score is out of 100.

How To Compare Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Advantage plans are almost as unique as the people enrolled in them. To start your comparison journey, you need to be clear on your needs, preferences, and annual budget for medical care. When comparing plans, you should take a few important factors into account:

  • The entire cost of the plan.

  • The extent of coverage.

  • The size of the plan’s network.

  • Plan ratings and reviews.

The entire cost of the plan means that you account for the monthly premium, health plan and drug deductibles, copayment fees, coinsurance rates, and the out-of-pocket maximum limit. Keep in mind that the plan with the lowest monthly premium isn’t necessarily the plan with the lowest costs all around.

Along with those costs, you should consider the extent of coverage that you get for your money. For example, two plans have similar costs. Plan A offers basic coverage plus hearing and routine eye care. Plan B offers basic coverage plus hearing, preventive dental, comprehensive dental, and routine eye care. In this case, Plan B is the better buy. Most Medicare Advantage plans do offer additional coverage benefits. That can include:

  • Hearing exams

  • Hearing aids (fittings and devices)

  • Preventive dental

  • Comprehensive dental

  • Routine vision

  • Glasses, lenses, contact lenses

  • Wellness programs

Next, you should consider the size of the plan’s network. A larger network typically means you have more options for treatment. While you may not need the largest network available, it’s still good to keep in mind. A plan with few options can make treatment difficult. Furthermore, some plans offer the option for you to go out-of-network for covered care (usually at a higher cost). If you have a rare condition or need highly specialized care, a plan that offers this option may be right for you.

Finally, it’s a great idea to look at the plan’s ratings and reviews. Be sure that the plan’s customer service team is easy to work with. Sites like Trust Pilot can offer you hundreds of customer reviews. Look for a plan where the good reviews well outweigh the bad.

Comparing Plans Fast and Easy

Once you’ve got the above basics down, you should head over to the Insurify Medicare comparison tool. Our tool allows you to search plans confidentially with just your ZIP code. You can refine your results by company, premium costs, plan features, and plan types. Best of all you can compare plans side-by-side! Compare up to three plans with your current Medicare Advantage plan or with Original Medicare.

The Insurify Medicare comparison tool makes it so easy to find the best plan for you. Try it today!

FAQ: Best Medicare Plans of 2020

  • There are many top-rated Medicare Advantage plans in most states. Many larger providers, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana, and UnitedHealthcare, regularly get high marks for their products and services. Yet, smaller providers can also offer competitive rates, comprehensive benefits, and excellent customer service. The key to getting the best Medicare Advantage plan in your area is to research your options. Try out the company website and download the app. Is the website easy to navigate? Does the app seem glitchy? You should also read customer reviews on sites like TrustPilot or even Yelp. What are customers saying about the companies? Finding a company that offers easy-to-use technology, comprehensive coverage at low cost, and great customer care may take a little time, but it will be well worth the effort.

  • The truth is: it depends. Some Medicare Advantage plans offer extensive coverage and valuable additional benefits. Other plans offer little extra help for covering your medical needs. While minimum coverage does not cost much month-to-month, the costs for care are much higher. The key to getting a Medicare Advantage plan that actually gives you an advantage is to look for a plan with advantageous terms. Terms like a low out-of-pocket maximum limit, dental coverage, and low coinsurance rates will help keep costs low to you.

  • The main downside of using a Medicare Advantage plan is that you’ll be restricted to using an in-network provider. Most Medicare Advantage plans are organized as HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations). With an HMO, out-of-network services are typically not covered by Medicare Part C. Another possible drawback could be the extent of coverage. Low-cost Medicare Advantage plans often have higher coinsurance rates or no out-of-pocket cost limits or both. These terms are unfavorable to Medicare beneficiaries because it leaves them with more of the bill to pay. Be sure to read the terms of any plan you’re interested in purchasing. Two plans can appear very similar, but have vastly different costs in the long run.

  • That’s okay: there are still well-qualified providers in your area. To compare providers quickly and easily, enter your zip code into the eHealth Medicare comparison tool at eHealthMedicare.com. You’ll receive ten or more plans available to you in your area.  Even better, select a few plans and compare them in a side-by-side chart to make everything crystal clear. How’s that for informative?

  • Medicare Advantage, sometimes called Medicare part C or MA plans, is a medicare plan offered by a private health insurance company. Original Medicare, also called Medicare Part A and Part B, is administered by the federal government. Medicare Advantage plans were created to give more options to seniors. There are many different kinds of plan options.  There are many advantages to using a private insurance company to fulfill your health insurance needs. However, many seniors also enjoy Original Medicare, but ad Medicare supplement insurance to cover costs for certain health conditions or for other reasons.

  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans and Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans have benefits and drawbacks. Ultimately, you will need to decide which is best for you based on what’s available and your personal preferences.  With a Medicare HMO plan, you will be required to use medical services within your plan’s network. You will need to choose a primary care physician, who will be able to refer you to specialists. You will need referrals to get all but some medical services covered by your health insurance. Exceptions include services like your annual mammogram.  With a Medicare PPO plan, you can expect lower out-of-pocket costs for using in-network providers. However, you will have more options to choose out-of-network providers. Bear in mind that out-of-network providers usually means higher copayment or coinsurance costs. With a PPO, you won’t be required to have a primary care physician, and you will be able to see specialists without a referral.

  • Also known as Part D coverage, a Medicare prescription drug plan is a good idea for many seniors. Chances are that you’ll need to take a prescription on a regular basis at some point in your life. Parts A and B do not cover prescriptions, and neither does Part C.  Many Medicare Advantage providers offer a Part D plan in addition to your health insurance.

  • You can find up-to-date information about Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans at Medicare.gov, which has an extensive plan finder. You will also find information about the COVID-19 pandemic there. Additional information about COVID-19 can be found at Coronavirus.gov. Additional information about Medicare can be found at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services website: CMS.gov.

  • Medicare open enrollment is from October 15 to December 7, every year.

Conclusion: Communication Is (Almost) Everything

If we are going to take anything away from the research at J.D. Power, it’s that clear and thoughtful communication is rare in the industry. If you have to choose between two similar plans, choose a provider with a good communication strategy. You should be able to get in contact with your provider in at least three ways to ensure lines of communication are always open.

And don’t forget to compare plans and save money with the Insurify Medicare comparison tool. Uncover options in your area at no cost to you. And because we know your health plan choices can be overwhelming, we have licensed insurance agents available to provide objective assistance, free of charge. Give us a call at  1-844-965-1378 (TTY 711) Monday-Friday 8am – 8pm ET.

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JJ Starr
Written by
JJ Starr
Linkedin

Insurance Writer

J.J. Starr is a health and finance writer with a background in banking, lending, and financial advising. She holds a Series 6, FINRA, and life insurance licensure and a master's degree from New York University. Through her writing, she strives to use her decade of experience to help consumers make sound financial choices. Connect with J.J. on LinkedIn.

Learn More
John Leach
Edited by
John Leach

Insurance Content Editor at Insurify

Photo of an Insurify author
Edited by
John Leach
Insurance Content Editor at Insurify
John Leach is an insurance content editor who has worked in print and online. He has years of experience in car and home insurance and strives to make these topics easy to understand for everyone. He has a linguistics degree from UC Santa Barbara.