Minnesotans have a number of options when it comes to Medicare Advantage plans. However, there’s a lot to consider when selecting the right option. See the top plans offered in the state, and quickly compare your plan options online.

If Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) doesn’t leave you feeling secure in your health insurance coverage, you may be considering a Medicare Advantage plan, also known as an MA plan or Medicare Part C. Unlike traditional Medicare coverage, MA plans can provide Medicare Part D drug coverage and other benefits like dental, vision, and fitness programs.

MA plans are provided by private insurance companies, so the costs of each plan vary. Plan availability also depends on which county in Minnesota you live in. Learning about the different types of plans available and the top plans for 2021 can prepare you for talking with an insurance agent about enrollment.

Want to examine the MA plans available in your service area? Try the Insurify Medicare comparison tool to compare your options.

Top Medicare Advantage Plans in Minnesota for 2021

Below are the top MA plans available in the state. These top plans were determined by factors such as their Medicare star rating, monthly premiums, plan deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums.

Here are some of the plans that are highly rated:

More details on each plan are available on the plan providers’ websites, including a formulary of covered medications and availability of extra benefits, like nursing home care and outpatient services.

#1 Gundersen MN Quartz Med Advantage Core D (w/ Rx)

  • Monthly premium: $0
  • Plan deductible: $0
  • Out-of-pocket maximum: $5,600
  • Counties where plan is available: Fillmore, Houston, Wabasha, and Winona

This five-star health plan offers a $0 deductible for prescription drug plan coverage and a low $3–$9 co-pay for Tier 1 drugs. Plan benefits also include a $0 co-pay for preventive care, $25 for primary care visits, and $50 for specialist visits. This plan also offers $0 co-pays for dental and vision benefits as well as higher costs for hearing, mental health, rehabilitation services, and wellness program coverage.

#2 Gundersen MN Quartz Med Advantage Elite D (w/Rx)

  • Monthly premium: $143
  • Plan deductible: $0
  • Out-of-pocket maximum: $3,000
  • Counties where plan is available: Fillmore, Houston, Wabasha, and Winona

This Quartz Medicare Advantage plan also has a five-star rating. With a higher co-pay than the Core D plan, this one also offers a $3–$9 cost for Tier 1 drugs and no drug plan deductible. This plan offers a $0 co-pay for preventive care in addition to low doctor visit costs—just $5 for primary care visits and $30 for specialist visits. Like the Core D plan, this one also has low or no costs for hearing, vision, and dental visits. 

If you pick this plan, you’ll get some additional benefits, including coverage for mental health services, nursing facility care, rehab services, and wellness program coverage. 

#3 Gundersen MN Quartz Med Advantage Value D (w/Rx)

  • Monthly premium: $40
  • Plan deductible: $0
  • Out-of-pocket maximum: $3,450
  • Counties where plan is available: Fillmore, Houston, Wabasha, and Winona

This five-star plan is a nice mid-tier plan compared to the other two Quartz Medicare Advantage plans on the list. It features no drug plan deductible and $3–$9 costs for Tier 1 drugs. The plan also has $15 co-pays for primary care visits and $40 for specialist visits. Preventive care co-pays are $0, and the plan offers dental, vision, and hearing benefits.

The plan also offers wellness program benefits in addition to mental health and rehabilitation service coverage. 

#4 Blue Cross Medicare Advantage Choice H5959-009 (PPO)

  • Monthly premium: $119.50
  • Plan deductible: $300
  • Out-of-pocket maximum: $3,100
  • Counties where plan is available: Blue Earth, Dodge, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Houston, Martin, Mower, Nicollet, Olmsted, Wabasha, Waseca, Watonwan, and Winona

Unlike the Quartz Medicare Advantage plans, this 4.5-star plan has a $300 drug plan deductible, in addition to Tier 1 drug costs that can range from $0 to $30. 

In-network primary care visits for this plan range from $0 to $20, and specialist visits range from $20 to $30. Preventive care co-pays are also $0 for in-network care, and the plan includes some additional benefits, such as hearing, vision, limited dental, and wellness program coverages.

#5 Blue Cross Medicare Advantage Complete H5959-010 (PPO)

  • Monthly premium: $157.20
  • Plan deductible: $0
  • Out-of-pocket maximum: $7,200
  • Counties where plan is available: Chisago, Ramsey, Washington, Dakota, Hennepin, Scott, Isanti, Anoka, and Carver

This 4.5-star plan features the highest monthly premium of any plan on the list, as well as the highest out-of-pocket max. This plan doesn’t have a drug plan deductible, and its Tier 1 drug costs range from $0 to $26.

Its in-network primary care visit co-pays can cost up to $20, with a $20 co-pay for specialist visits, too. The preventive care co-pay is $0 in-network, and the plan offers hearing, limited dental, and vision benefits, among others.

#6 Blue Cross Medicare Advantage Core H5959-012 (PPO)

  • Monthly premium: $38.40
  • Plan deductible: $445
  • Out-of-pocket maximum: $6,700
  • Counties where plan is available: Nicollet, Waseca, Winona, Freeborn, Dodge, Fillmore, Houston, Martin, Mower, Olmsted, Steele, Wabasha, Watonwan, Blue Earth, and Faribault

This 4.5-star plan offers one of the lowest monthly premiums. While it does have a $445 drug plan deductible, Tier 1 drugs have $0 co-pays. In-network preventive care has a $0 co-pay, and doctor visits require a $0–$20 co-pay for primary care and a $20–$50 co-pay for specialists.

Enrollees can also expect a number of additional benefits, including vision, hearing, and some dental coverage.

#7 HealthPartners Journey Dash H4882-006 (PPO)

  • Monthly premium: $91
  • Plan deductible: $300
  • Out-of-pocket maximum: $3,600
  • Counties where plan is available: Anoka, Benton, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Morrison, Ramsey, Scott, Todd, Washington, Wright, and Stearns

If you select this 4.5-star plan, be prepared to meet a $300 deductible for drug plan coverage and pay a $5–$15 co-pay for Tier 1 drugs. Like other plans on the list, preventive care has a $0 co-pay in-network. Doctor visits are also cost-effective, with a $5 in-network co-pay for primary care and $30 for specialist visits. 

The plan also includes hearing and vision benefits, as well as more comprehensive dental benefits than many other plans on the list.

#8 HealthPartners Journey Pace H4882-002 (PPO)

  • Monthly premium: $0
  • Plan deductible: $300
  • Out-of-pocket maximum: $6,100
  • Counties where plan is available: Anoka, Benton, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Morrison, Ramsey, Scott, Stearns, Todd, Washington, and Wright

The final plan, with 4.5 stars, has a $300 drug plan deductible and Tier 1 drug co-pays between $8 and $24. Like other plans on the list, preventive care has a $0 co-pay for in-network visits. In-network primary care visits have a $25 co-pay, and specialist visits have a $50 co-pay.

While this plan does offer hearing benefits, it includes no preventive or comprehensive dental benefits. The only vision benefit for the plan is a $0 co-pay for in-network routine eye exams.

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How much do Medicare Advantage plans cost in Minnesota?

On average, enrollees spend about $1,252.50 in premiums and $333.99 in drug plan deductibles per year. Monthly plan costs amount to $104.37 on average. That being said, what you’ll pay will depend on several factors, including:

  • The plan you choose
  • The health conditions you treat
  • The size and accessibility of your network

And remember that the monthly premium is not the only expense you’ll pay. You’ll also need to cover the cost of coinsurance, copayments, deductibles, and the total cost of any uncovered care received.

Below is a table comparing the total annual costs of top Medicare Advantage plans in Minnesota to give you a better sense of what each plan costs.

Types of Medicare Advantage Plans

There are four most common plan types, each with different benefits and best suited for different Medicare beneficiaries. See what’s generally provided with each plan type.

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Plans

HMO plans typically:

  • Require you to use an in-network provider, except for emergencies
  • Require a primary care physician
  • Require a referral for specialists
  • Provide prescription drug coverage

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plans

PPO plans typically:

  • Cover more costs for in-network over out-of-network medical assistance
  • Don’t require a primary care physician
  • Don’t require a referral for specialists
  • Provide Medicare Part D drug coverage

Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) Plans

PFFS plans:

  • May allow you to see any provider or, if the plan has a provider network, any in-network provider who agrees to always treat plan members
  • May allow you to see out-of-network providers who agree to treat plan members
  • Usually don’t require a primary care physician
  • Usually don’t require a referral for specialists
  • May or may not provide prescription drug coverage

Special Needs Plans (SNPs)

SNPs:

  • Only offer membership to those with certain diseases or characteristics
  • Have required in-network providers (unless it’s an emergency or special circumstances)
  • Usually require a primary care physician or care coordinator
  • Usually require referrals for specialists
  • Must offer prescription drug coverage

Are you wondering which Medicare Advantage plans in your coverage area fit your budget? Try out the Insurify Medicare comparison tool to start comparing costs.

FAQ: Minnesota Medicare Advantage

Can I have a Medicare Advantage plan and a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plan at the same time? 

No, you can’t use benefits from MA plans and Medicare Supplement plans simultaneously. If you already have a Medigap plan and join an MA plan, consider dropping your Medigap since the MA plan won’t pay any of your co-payments, coinsurance, deductibles, or premiums.

Is an MA plan the same as a cost plan? 

No, a cost plan is a different type of Medicare coverage, though the same private insurers might provide both. Visit Medicare.gov to learn more about cost plan options.

How can I determine my eligibility for an MA plan?

Generally, you are eligible for an MA plan if the plan is offered in your county and if you already have Original Medicare coverage. You can also sign up for a plan without having Original Medicare if you have end-stage renal disease (ESRD) (beginning January 2021). You may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period outside of Annual Open Enrollment. Visit Medicare.gov for contact details (phone and TTY) to discuss your possible eligibility.

Can I have an MA plan and Medicaid at the same time? 

You may be eligible for both an MA plan and Medicaid services. You can learn more about dual enrollment at Medicare.gov. If you’re already enrolled in an MA plan or Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, check your Medicare contract for more information on limitations.

Conclusion: Closely Compare Insurance Plans to Select the Right One

When choosing the right MA plan, it’s important to look at the entire Medicare cost and compare it to your health needs and budget. You also must consider that not every plan is available to residents in your county. 

Take a closer look at your unique plan options to pick the right one. Compare plans today using the Insurify Medicare comparison tool.

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Updated February 25, 2021

Jasmine Fleming is a freelance digital content marketer and strategist. She loves crafting helpful content that readers can use to make important decisions. You can learn more about Jasmine at her website, www.jasminefleming.com.