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The Best Medicare Advantage Plans

Which Medicare Advantage Plan Provider is the Best?

If you or a family member is approaching the age of 65, or if you are soon eligible for Medicare Parts A and B, now is the perfect time to start looking at coverage to go along with your Medicare. While standard Medicare covers many of your medical expenses, it may be somewhat expensive. So looking into another option, Medicare Advantage Plans, might be in your best interest.

Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C, is an alternative to traditional Medicare offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. These plans provide all the coverage of Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance) and often include additional benefits, such as vision, dental, and prescription drug coverage. Some plans even offer health and wellness programs to encourage preventive care like fitness, chiropractic, and physical therapy.

Saturday, May 18th

2024 Medicare Advantage Plan Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award eHealth Review 5 Star Rating

eHealth

5 Star Rating
  • Quoted prices $0 to $202 monthly premium
  • $58.73 to $110.59/month in prescriptions
  • Coverage in all 50 states
  • Helpful online resources
  • Thousands of 5-star reviews
  • Awards from the BBB for ethics
  • "A+" rating and accreditation from the BBB
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

wide variety of Medicare Advantage Plans with connections to over 30 insurance providers. You can expect to see Medicare plans from familiar insurers like United Healthcare and Cigna. Plus, wherever you live in the US, eHealth covers them all. The best part? You can sign up totally online, which makes a normally lengthy process much simpler.

Helpful FAQ

eHealth offers a FAQ section of the site labeled "Medicare Answers" to help you get started with the Medicare process. However, compared to some of the other companies in our review, the details at eHealth are pretty generic. The site breaks down getting Medicare Advantage Plans into a 3-step process, which is helpful for first-time buyers, as well as blog posts that talk about how the Medicare process might look and how to find the best prices.

Quick quotes online

Getting started with eHealth is simple. Right on the front page, you'll see a box to enter your zip code. The online process for finding basic plan information was pretty slow. The site took a while to load the plans available in our area. Once everything loaded, however, the selection was impressive. This broker offered 34 individual Medicare Advantage Plans. Like a few other options during our research, eHealth allows you to see prices totally online. You can call if you want to (using their toll-free number), but you can get everything you need (including prescription prices) right on the website.

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Tons of plan details

There is a lot of information on the website, making it super easy to see all of their plans at a glance. There is even a "compare" feature if you want to look at different plans side by side. Of the plans offered in our test area in Illinois, 20 of the 34 plans had a $0 monthly premium. Most options in the list include prescription medication and features like dental, vision, hearing, transportation, and fitness services.

Competitive costs with a variety of premiums

To get an accurate quote, we used our fictional persona of a 65-year-old woman in Illinois. She is a non-smoker looking for a plan that covers Xeralto medication at a 2.5 MG dose of 60 pills per month. First, we found that the plans range from $0 to $202 for monthly premiums with the Blue Cross Blue Shield plan as the most expensive. The two companies that eHealth recommended to us based on the example customer's details were Humana and Aetna for $0 monthly premiums. The cost for the Xarelto medication on each plan ranged from $58.73 to $110.59 per month with Humana being the overall least expensive plan.

Keeps track of rate changes

One distinctive feature that serves customers well at eHealth is Rate Watch. After enrolling in a plan with eHealth, the company monitors all companies' premiums. This way eHealth can notify you of any rate increases so you can make sure you're still getting the best deal. So, if you need to change plans or adjust to something more affordable, you'll know that eHealth is there to help you keep costs down.

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Award-winning site

The company holds an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau. On top of that, eHealth has received the International Torch Award for Ethics. This award gives eHealth's reputation a huge boost as its trustworthiness and ethical business practices are recognized by customers and third parties alike. Customer reviews on verified sites show 5-star ratings for eHealth, praising the helpful service and the friendly company representatives.

Top-notch service across the board

eHealth offers the full package. With competitive premiums and prescription rates, it's a standout for great deals. Plus, the trustworthiness of the company is what really makes eHealth shine. The combined reputation boost from its BBB scores and customer reviews showcases eHealth as a reliable option for your Medicare Advantage Plan. With thousands of 5-star reviews, happy customers, and coverage in all 50 states, eHealth earns a solid 5-star rating from us, and its impressive number of plans available places it in first place for our review of Medicare Advantage Plan providers.

SmartMatch Review 4.5 Star Rating

SmartMatch

4.5 Star Rating
  • Quoted prices $0 to $169 monthly premium
  • $0 to $47/month in prescriptions
  • Broker for insurance
  • Coverage in 50 states
  • Email review of your quotes
  • Friendly reps
  • "A+" rating from the BBB for parent company

SmartMatch remains one of the top rated providers in our review. It's a great option for finding a Medicare Advantage Plan or any other essential Medicare insurance coverage for both you and your family. It serves as a comprehensive destination, offering quotes from various insurance providers, including well-known names like Aetna and Humana. The downsides? The company only works through call-in quotes, so you can't find quotes online, and the number of plans available in our example area was much smaller than at other competitors.

Call for a quote with minimal options

Getting started at SmartMatch is straightforward. First, you just need to put in what kind of plan you're looking for (in this case Medicare Advantage) and then submit your zip code. The site will take you to a quick form to fill out that includes important information like your name, date of birth, location, email, and phone number. Once that's submitted, you'll be asked to wait as they "work on your quote." The most we could find online was that SmartMatch only offered 5 plans in our test area (Illinois), which was disappointing compared to other brokers we've reviewed.

Friendly representatives, but some frustrating rules

It took over 24 hours to hear back from SmartMatch. And when we did, it was a little frustrating. If you're trying to help out a family member, you'll have to make sure that the person you're trying to get an estimate for is actually in the room with you, or that you have power of attorney or SmartMatch won't even speak with you on the topic of Medicare Advantage Plans. In this case, it will be important for the person seeking the plan to be the one to call as SmartMatch's policies appear very strict on this issue. When we called back as our example customer, the service was extremely quick and friendly. During the process, the agent suggested sending us an email to give us a chance to look over the information on our own with no pressure, which was a unique idea. However, this did mean we had to wait longer to get the details of the plans offered by SmartMatch.

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Prescriptions covered by deductible

Based on the information we received in the emails from SmartMatch, the monthly premiums offered for our example customer in the Midwest that include a prescription for Xarelto ranged from $0 to $169 per month in premiums. The cost for the Xarelto (which is a tier 3 prescription) starts from $0 (which means the prescription is covered completely) to $47. Considering this was the only company that offered a tier 3 drug totally covered by the plan, we were fairly impressed with the options at SmartMatch.

Solid scores with some mixed reviews

One of the best features of SmartMatch is that the company has built an impressive reputation. SmartMatch holds accreditation and an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). However, the ratings have gone down on the BBB site a bit. Previously SmartMatch held a perfect 5-star rating. Now, the score is a concerning 2 stars instead. Many of the complaints included frustration with marketing calls after working with SmartMatch. On the other hand, SmartMatch averaged 4.9 stars out of 5 from third-party review sites like Trustpilot. Customers frequently praised how knowledgeable and friendly the representatives at SmartMatch were.

Solid option with good prices

While the ratings are high, the lack of an online quote system is disappointing. Further, it had fewer options for Medicare Advantage Plans in our selected area than most other companies we reviewed. On the bright side, the company is well-praised for approachability and savings, which we agreed with after speaking to their friendly sales rep. With prices that include prescriptions on some of the $0 monthly premium plans, SmartMatch had some of the best plans for prescriptions on the market. So, with a balance of these factors, SmartMatch stands out as an excellent option for Medicare Advantage Plans in our review.

SelectQuote Review 4 Star Rating

SelectQuote

4 Star Rating
  • Quoted monthly prices from $0 to $168
  • $47/month in prescriptions
  • Helpful online resources
  • Friendly service reps
  • Annual check-ins
  • Protects you from receiving constant contact from companies
  • Tons of 5-star reviews
  • "A+" rating and accreditation from the BBB

SelectQuote takes pride in being a reliable insurance referral partner, offering Medicare Advantage Plans exclusively from insurers with at least an "A-" rating. This feature promises that you receive top-notch coverage no matter what plan you ultimately decide on. With nearly four decades of operation, SelectQuote itself holds an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a quality control system that makes it stand out from the pack.

Slow system for quotes

To get started with SelectQuote, you just need to click the "get a quote" button on the front page. This leads you to a questionnaire that includes all of your relevant personal information as well as what kind of coverage you're looking for. However, availability for calls was a little slim. The closest date for a call with SelectQuote was 2 business days away from the day we searched, which was frustrating. There was no way to get a quote or even basic information online. Speaking with a representative from the company is the only way to get any details.

Long wait, but extremely helpful reps

The call process with SelectQuote directly from the website was a little frustrating. First, when we called in, the system hung up several times before we were connected with a rep. This happened three times in a row before we tried to get SelectQuote to call us through their online questionnaire. We were told that it would take 15 minutes to hear back from SelectQuote, but the wait for us was about an hour. When we finally received a text message with a different phone number attached to call for a quote, we were connected. The rep who answered our call to facilitate a transfer was very polite, and our wait on hold was impressively short. The licensed agent provided comprehensive information, quoting policies that included prescription Xarelto at and premiums at the lowest costs. While the process of answering questions did take much longer than it does with online quotes, it was very helpful if you prefer to talk to a representative to get your questions answered.

Competitive costs for prescriptions

The pricing available through SelectQuote ranges from a monthly premium of $0 to $168. For the prescription costs, most of the plans the rep listed were $47, and most of these were the $0 monthly premium which helps keep costs down. These included Zing, Aetna, Humana, Cigna, and United Healthcare. The rep also noted that the plans that had higher monthly premiums would bring down the cost of visits to specialists, which was helpful in understanding the different costs.

Best Medicare Advantage Plans

Yearly pricing check-ups

SelectQuote Senior provides an ongoing service where they conduct annual check-ins to help you evaluate the plan you initially chose. This way, before you have to renew, you can make sure you're getting the best deal each time. This process proves SelectQuote's commitment to give you ongoing options that won't limit you to one plan or another.

High ratings from customers and BBB

With an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, SelectQuote shows dedication to treating clients fairly and honestly. Customers particularly praised the post-policy selection service, where they felt secure and well-supported by their representatives. They also appreciated that SelectQuote carefully vetted partner insurers, so that customers weren't bombarded by third-party providers or unwanted communication.

Great option that cares for customers

While SelectQuote may not rank among the highest sources of Medicare Advantage Plans due to the lack of online quotes and the slower-than-average call process, it's still worth it to consider its service. With SelectQuote, you can expect a thorough analysis of your situation, so you get the best policy at the best price. Plus, the company offers yearly reviews of your plan so you can change to something more affordable in the future if prices change. SelectQuote stands out as a trustworthy broker of Medicare Advantage Plans, earning a solid rating in this review.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Review 4 Star Rating

Blue Cross Blue Shield

4 Star Rating
  • Quoted prices $0 to $202 monthly premium
  • $45 to $47/month in prescriptions
  • Online quotes available
  • Only sells its own insurance
  • Detailed blogs and resources online
  • "A+" rating from the BBB in some states

Blue Cross Blue Shield, or BCBS, has a long history in the insurance field. Also known as "Anthem" in some states, BCBS is one of the most well-known insurance providers on the market. The BCBS Medicare Advantage Plans (also known as Part C) are easy to access with tons of details about the plans. You can easily check if your state is covered by entering your zip code.

Great site for first-time Medicare buyers

One of the standout features of the BCBS website is the impressive amount of information available. The part of the site dedicated to Medicare Advantage Plans is extensive. You'll find details about costs, limits, and considerations, when to enroll, and more. So, if this is your first time picking out a Medicare Advantage Plan, BCBS is a great place to get familiar with the Medicare process. To get to the part where you initiate a quote, head to the right side of the page where it prompts you to "Enter Zip Code and Find Coverage."

Tons of details on online quote page

Once you're redirected to the coverage page for your state (for us, that was the Illinois Medicare page), you'll be asked to provide your ideal "effective date" and your zip code to see some quotes. The area for our fictional "sample" customer was in Illinois. BCBS offered 12 different plans to sift through with a mix of options including prescriptions, medical only, or some with both. You can see a variety of details right there on the page including copay information, out-of-pocket maximums, monthly premiums, and whether a plan includes dental and vision.

Online signup is a bonus

BCBS will allow you to initiate your Medicare Advantage Plan application online, which sets them apart from other providers who require a (sometimes lengthy) phone call. BCBS offers a range of plans as soon as you submit your zip code. The monthly premiums at BCBS ranged from $0 to $202. However, the details regarding prescription costs required us to click through and review all of the details, which were more complex than at other companies. BCBS rates prescriptions on a tiered system. According to our research, our example customer's prescription (Xarelto) is usually a "Tier 3" drug. At BCBS this would make the cost for Xarelto between $45 to $47 for your copay. This is a highly competitive rate for prescription copays, giving BCBS an advantage in our review.

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Amazing extras help with Medicare learning curve

Our favorite feature of BCBS were the blogs and extra details that help you fully understand the Medicare process. With blogs that answer questions like "What is a health insurance claim?" or "How does telehealth work?" BCBS offers accessible information whether you've looked at Medicare before or if this is your first time figuring it out.

BBB ratings vary by state

Finding a Better Business Bureau (BBB) listing for BCBS can be tricky due to separate offices in each state. What we did gather shows that the BBB ratings for BCBS vary significantly. For instance, South Carolina enjoys an "A+" rating with seven customer complaints, whereas New York holds a "D-" , and the BBB score for Illinois (where our example customer is from) is a mid-tier "B-" rating. So, before you go with BCBS, you might want to check out the company's rating in your particular state since the company's reputation varies so much.

Still competitive despite mixed experiences

BCBS has some standout prices. For this reason, BCBS is one of the favorites in our review overall. However, one feature keeps BCBS from the top three: the differing BBB scores. While BCBS may be the #1 pick for customers in some states (like South Carolina), for customers in the lower-rated states, the experience may not be the same. For this reason, BCBS falls a little in the ratings. On the other hand, the benefits like online enrollment, online quotes, and the highly competitive copay prices make BCBS a great option to look into, especially if your state is lucky enough to have an "A+" rating. For this reason, it gets a higher-than-average.

Aetna Review 3.5 Star Rating

Aetna

3.5 Star Rating
  • Quoted prices $0 to $19 monthly premium
  • $61.85 to $153.89/month in prescriptions
  • Sells its own insurance
  • Customer service available 7 days a week
  • "A+" rating from the BBB

Aetna has a long history in the insurance industry with over 160 years under its belt. In our look into Medicare Advantage Plans, Aetna stands out for providing a wide list of plans, including an impressive range of coverage options for dental, vision, and prescriptions.

Impressive online quote feature

Aetna has made a name for itself particularly as one of the modern companies that allows for online quotes. You don't need to make a phone call at Aetna to get the details (though you can call a rep if you want extra info or help). In general, Aetna is a low-stress site to start researching Medicare Advantage Plans.

Highly detailed plan previews

Aetna's online quote feature is extremely fast and helpful for customers who want a quick look at plans before going through the rigamarole of calling and quote gathering. Aetna instantly shows you detailed plans in your area. Unlike some sites we reviewed in our evaluation, Aetna is clear about premiums, plan highlights, Rx coverage, pricing, and out-of-pocket maximums. You can see everything at a glance. All you need to get started is your zip code. If you prefer a phone call, the process is very similar. During the call, they'll ask for essential information like your name, zip code, and date of birth.

Fast plan quotes totally online

For our "example" customer, a 65-year-old woman in Illinois, the zip code search showed 10 plans to choose from. These included plans that were prescription only, medical only, and combinations of the two. Getting all these details without ever having to input your personal information into Aetna's system is great for a quick quote, giving Aetna a slight edge over some companies in our review that require a phone call or an account.

Best Medicare Advantage Plans

Get complete quotes without a call

The detailed quotes aren't just for show. They offer you a full-price layout without ever having to get on the phone with a representative. This quote process is as accurate as talking to a rep once you add in your personal details. For example, to get an accurate comparison with other companies we added our example customer's medication, Xarelto at a 2.5 MG dosage. According to the options at Aetna, here's what you can expect to pay for their Medicare Advantage Plans:

  • $0 to $196 per month for premiums
  • $61.85 to $153.89 per month for prescriptions

The best plan overall included the $0 premium and the low $61.85 per month for medications, which makes it highly competitive.

Customer service 12 hours a day

One of the benefits of working with Aetna is that the company offers ongoing customer service. Aetna's representatives are available to help you seven days a week. Whether you have questions over the weekend or after your workday ends, reaching someone at Aetna is a breeze. Their standard working hours range from 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days per week.

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Solid BBB score overall

While Aetna carries an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau, it lacks accreditation. On top of that, the BBB listing reveals numerous complaints, which is a little concerning as many of Aetna's top competitors (who also have "A+" ratings) don't have nearly as many complaints. However, many of these complaints appear related to issues with third-party insurance brokers that connected customers to Aetna rather than Aetna itself.

Competitive prescription prices

Two things really stand out about Aetna: the quick online quote process and the low-price options for premiums and prescriptions. These two things alone make the provider competitive. However, despite having a solid "A+" rating from the BBB, Aetna falls a little lower due to the large number of complaints about the site. When comparing that to other popular competitors, it keeps Aetna from the top. Due to this, the company still easily earns a mid-tier rating in our review and is definitely worth adding to your list to compare prices, especially if prescriptions are one of your top concerns.

Humana Review 3 Star Rating

Humana

3 Star Rating
  • Quoted monthly prices from $0 to $138
  • $61.85 to $157.91/month in prescriptions
  • Sells its own insurance
  • Coverage in 49 states
  • Online quote and enrollment process
  • "A+" rating and accreditation from the BBB

If you're in the market for a Medicare Advantage Plan, Humana is a popular name with different Medicare brokers. You've probably already seen Humana pop up during your research.

Wide ranging coverage

The company offers coverage spanning across most locations in the US, and Humana stands out as a contracted partner with various brokers and referral services which makes it easy to find wherever you're browsing. Plus, all the coverage provided by Humana encompasses hospital stays, emergency transportation, telehealth visits, preventive care, specialist visits, lab work, x-rays, screenings, imaging, outpatient care, procedures, and medical supplies and equipment.

User-friendly experience overall

The Humana website offers valuable resources to learn everything you need to know about Medicare Advantage Plans. Whether you want to get into the intricacies of a PFFS plan or if you want to see how to be sure your plan will work with your normal physicians, Humana provides the answers. And, the site is very user-friendly, which makes it comfortable to find what you need at a glance.

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Quick process for online quotes

To get a quote, you just start by entering your zip code. Right away you'll be directed to a page that shows all the plans from Humana available in your area. For our research, we looked at Lake County, IL for our example customer. The best part is that you can add your prescription medications right there online to get a full rundown of prices right away. All of the quotes include details about monthly premiums, copays for specialists, out-of-pocket maximums, and whether you'll get vision, dental, lab work, and other extras. Plus, with the "compare" tool, you can look at different plans side by side.

Online enrollment available

Humana offers the convenience of completing the entire enrollment process online. This is a huge benefit, meaning you can handle your own Medicare Advantage Plan without giving out your phone number. However, if you're interested in getting assistance from a representative, that's still an option with Humana. To complete the process online, you'll need to have your Medicare number, eligibility dates, and supporting documents for any other coverage you may have.

Somewhat higher pricing

Using our example client, a soon-to-be 65-year-old woman in Illinois who never smoked and takes Xarelto medication, we found some solid pricing options. Notably, our sample medication was covered in 9 out of the 12 plans from Humana. The prices range from $0 to $138 in monthly premiums and $743 to $1895 annually for the prescriptions. This shakes out to between $61.91 to $157.91 per month for prescriptions: somewhat higher than other providers in our review.

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Mixed reputation between BBB and customer reviews

Humana has an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). However, on third-party review sites, Humana doesn't do as well. The average rating for Humana is around 2.1 stars. Customer complaints particularly note that they had problems getting Humana to come through for dental work. Many of the most recent one-star reviews talk about paying extra for dental and Humana refusing to cover the work. Although Humana's Medicare Advantage Plans were frequently recommended by brokers, the abundance of complaints and feedback from customers who suggest avoiding Humana plans adds a layer of caution.

Mixed feedback earns it a mid-tier rating

At the end of the day, Humana is still highly competitive in the level of coverage available. However, it does lose a few points for the negative customer reviews, especially with customers having problems getting their dental work covered. Plus the prices aren't as competitive as they could be here. Still, with an "A+ rating from the BBB and being highly popular with brokers, Humana has some features that could make it a better-than-average option. The online enrollment and quoting features are definitely a plus. Balancing out the pros and cons, Humana receives an average rating in our review.

United Healthcare Review 2 Star Rating

United Healthcare

2 Star Rating
  • Quoted prices $0 to $34 monthly premium
  • $68.26 to $84.41/month in prescriptions
  • Standalone provider with its own insurance
  • Quick communication
  • Helpful online resources
  • Online enrollment

At United Healthcare, the company offers help for customers spanning from early life through working years into retirement. Offering a variety of health benefit plans across the United States, United Healthcare offers coverage for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, accommodating a range of budgets. Collaborating with an extensive network of over 1.3 million physicians and care professionals, along with 6,700 hospitals and care facilities nationwide and internationally, the company provides global solutions to simplify the healthcare experience.

United keeps you well-informed

When you visit the United Healthcare website, you'll discover a wealth of resources to help you understand their Medicare Advantage Plans. Under the "Learn About Medicare" section, you can find insightful blogs covering topics like eligibility, coverage options, and types of plans (including details on Medicare Advantage Plans) as well as a variety of research articles to keep you informed.

Pop in your zip and go

United Healthcare was one of our favorite sites due to its powerful online quote tool. All you have to do to see quotes and details about Medicare Advantage Plans is pop your zip code into the search bar and a list of Advantage Plans offered by United Healthcare will be at your fingertips. Since UnitedHealthCare offers its own plans rather than brokering for others, you'll only see options from United Healthcare itself, but this means you don't have to sift through as many options, and comparing prices becomes a quick and easy process.

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Quick quotes with lower-than-average prices

To further narrow down the options we put in the details for our example customer. This customer lives in Illinois and has one prescription for a 2.5 MG dose of Xarelto. United Healthcare has 5 total Medicare Advantage Plans. This was fairly disappointing considering that many of the other providers and brokers we evaluated had 10+ plans to choose from. However, these all included the key details of our example customer, which made it easier to browse our best choices. With the details for our example customer we found the following prices:

  • $0 to $34 per month for the premium
  • $819.18 to $1,012.98 /year or $68.26 to $84.41 /month for prescriptions

These prices, especially those for the prescriptions, were some of the lowest on the market during the time of our review.

Easy online enrollment

The best part about United Healthcare is that you can complete enrollment entirely online. Instead of worrying about lengthy phone calls or long approval periods, you can put in your information on United Healthcare's website and be enrolled in your Medicare Advantage Plan in just 10 minutes. The process is streamlined with just a few personal questions, some details about your medical history, and a brief review online, and you'll be all set for your Medicare Advantage Plan. In an industry where the enrollment process is often difficult or lengthy, United Healthcare steps up with a more modern solution. Plus, if you need help for any reason, you can still call a rep at any time or use the online chat feature to answer your questions.

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Customers don't recommend

Unfortunately, despite its more modern approach, United Healthcare is one of the lowest-rated insurance companies across our review. The company has an "NR" rating from the Better Business Bureau and a 1.1-star average rating on the BBB site. On other third-party review sites, the news is just as bad. With a 1.6-star rating being the highest we could find, customers across the board are complaining about United Healthcare. Customers are saying that United Healthcare has taken away (or reduced) many of the benefits of the insurance plans, making it more expensive to keep those benefits, or forcing customers to look for coverage elsewhere. Customers have trouble getting UHC to cover things even if they're "in-network" and there are tons of complaints about customer service.

Negatives not worth the lower costs

While the pricing is solid and the online enrollment is a plus, the reviews for United Healthcare more or less cancel out the benefits offered by this company. Considering that other providers offer better customer service overall and have fewer customer complaints, United Healthcare falls close to the bottom of the list. While its benefits earn it a little bonus, this provider earns a lower rating due to the high volume of negative feedback. We don't recommend choosing United Healthcare for your Medicare Advantage Plan.

Cigna Review 1.5 Star Rating

Cigna

1.5 Star Rating
  • Quoted prices $0 monthly premium
  • $91.85/month in prescriptions
  • Online quotes available
  • Only sells its own insurance

Despite having over 30 years of experience, Cigna might not meet your expectations when it comes to Medicare Advantage Plans. Coverage from Cigna is extremely limited. Cigna only offers 6 options to choose from. Even compared to other companies that provide their own insurance (rather than brokering for multiple insurance companies) the plan selection at Cigna was smaller. This limitation along with reported issues from paying customers regarding the usability of Cigna's site raises some red flags. Considering long-term usability, Cigna may not be your best choice for a Medicare Advantage Plan.

Quick online quotes

Now, first things first: getting an online quote was super easy at Cigna. While reviews are talking about a lack of user-friendliness at Cigna, we didn't find that during our initial quote search. To get started we just had to submit our sample persona's zip code for Lake County, IL. After that, we immediately got online quotes. These were easy to read and compare and didn't raise any red flags on the user experience side. However, there were fewer quotes from Cigna than from other companies we reviewed, with only 6 options to choose from. On the other hand, we did appreciate the added bonus of a fully online pricing process. We didn't even need to make a phone call. But, if you prefer talking to a representative, Cigna says you can easily reach one.

Extremely detailed pricing

There are tons of details on the online quotes to help you decide which plan you want to move forward with. Of the 6 plans we were given, 5 of them offered prescription coverage, which was a bonus. You can also easily find details about monthly premiums, copays on regular visits vs specialists, and whether or not the plans include dental, vision, hearing, OTC drugs, and fitness (most of them do). In order to get the most accurate estimate, you just need to add your prescriptions and answer a few questions. For our example customer profile, who is a woman about to turn 65 in Illinois and is currently taking Xarelto (2.5 mg tabs), the cost for the monthly premium at Cigna is listed as $0. However, with the prescription, the yearly cost is $1102.30 which breaks down to around $91.85 per month

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Customers aren't happy with Cigna

Cigna used to hold an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau, but it has recently fallen to an alarming "NR" rating. Considering this slide down the ratings, we are a little more cautious about Cigna as a whole. Along with the disappointing BBB score, Cigna also showed a lower average star rating from third-party review sites. Across the board, Cigna earned just 1.3 stars out of 5 on average.

Customer complaints

Some of the complaints include customers being unable to reach a representative despite holding insurance with Cigna. Other customers complained about a variety of technical issues regarding logins and the customer portal. This is particularly frustrating from the perspective of a paying customer who needs these features to get coverage for their medical expenses. Given the low ratings and a large number of customers' concerns about the usability of Cigna's site, this provider falls pretty low in the rankings.

Cigna doesn't stand out as a favorite

Despite Cigna's nearly four decades in operation, Cigna has some truly disappointing features. Their BBB reputation is now a concerning "NR" rating, which raises some serious red flags, and the average star rating is just 1.3 stars. Considering that many of the complaints about Cigna revolve around the site's usability after coverage is purchased, we're a little worried about customers having a poor long-term experience here. Considering that Cigna also offers fewer coverage options than most competitors, we couldn't really recommend you start your Medicare Advantage Plan journey here. For these reasons, Cigna gets a disappointing rating in our review.

HealthCare Review 1 Star Rating

HealthCare

1 Star Rating
  • Prices based on other companies
  • Broker model

HealthCare is a unique option in that it functions solely as a comparison service. It doesn't serve as a broker or agent and (most importantly) doesn't sell Medicare Advantage Plans. This means we couldn't find clear prices from HealthCare, even using details about our made-up 65-year-old customer. Since the company doesn't manage things on its own and simply directs you to external insurers and brokers, you can't get anything done for Medicare Advantage Plans on the site. Plus, this makes it tricky to determine which states the company serves or how many choices you might have.

Either call or answer personal questions

Getting started on HealthCare requires that you add in your zip code. Once you've done this quick step, HealthCare promptly informs you if there are licensed insurance agents in your area available through their toll-free number (844-874-1250). If you don't feel like making a phone call right away, you can answer HealthCare's online questionnaire. This covers questions about existing coverage, date of birth, gender, and personal contact information, including your name, street address, email address, and phone number. However, if you're expecting this quiz to lead to a quote, you're going to be disappointed. Plus, the fine print discloses that HealthCare's partner companies and their commercial partners may also contact you, and this will likely lead to lots of scam calls or unwanted communication.

HealthCare outsources the quotes

If you decide to proceed and share your contact information, the next step shows you "quotes" online. But, we found that to be a loose term. The quote page listed just 2 plans with no financial information or details accompanying them. Instead, when you click on the plans, it will redirect you to the insurance page for the company offered. For example, we were shown an option for Medigap and MyMedicare. Clicking the "view details" button redirects you completely to the partner website where you have to start the process of submitting your personal information all over again.

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Calls are outsourced to third-party agents

When we dialed for a quote, the agent who answered provided a clear explanation for our example customer (a 65-year-old woman in Illinois looking for coverage including a Xarelto prescription). However, the twist was that the agent worked for a third-party company, and he wasn't affiliated with HealthCare. The lack of transparency was concerning, as we expected to be talking to a member of the HealthCare team. With this bait-and-switch, it became clear that we couldn't get any quotes from HealthCare specifically even with our detailed fictional persona. This lack of transparency knocked HealthCare down to our lowest rating.

F-rating and security concerns

While the company used to have a "B" rating from the Better Business Bureau, it now holds an alarming "F" rating instead. The third-party broker we were connected to in our call didn't appear in a BBB search either. Basically, you may never know who will handle your coverage and whether they provide honest details and pricing. On top of these other concerns, HealthCare only has an average rating of 1.2 stars from customer reviews on third-party sites. Complaints included distress about being called constantly by scam numbers. For example, one review noted receiving over 300 different calls within a few days. While we did receive several scam calls, it wasn't nearly this many. But, your personal security is something to safeguard, and HealthCare sure doesn't seem to do that.

HealthCare is not trustworthy

Due to questionable methods, poor ratings, and concerns about scam calls, HealthCare receives our lowest rating. We highly suggest checking out other companies on our list for a more reliable experience with Medicare Advantage Plans. Since you can't purchase Medicare Advantage Plans directly through HealthCare and or obtain clear pricing without visiting a completely different website, coupled with the likelihood of receiving numerous third-party contacts, calls, and emails, we strongly recommend you skip HealthCare altogether.

GoHealth Review 1 Star Rating

GoHealth

1 Star Rating
  • Broker model
  • Coverage in all 50 states
  • Online resources
  • "A+" rating and accreditation from the BBB

GoHealth started out as an insurance marketplace in 2001. Since 2016, the company has expanded into the Medicare scene. GoHealth offers coverage in all 50 states, which makes it much easier to find a plan with this provider (theoretically) than with some of the more limited options.

Several red flags

However, during our deeper research into GoHealth, we ran into several snags. First, there's no way to see any details without calling the company, so it's already behind the times compared to other Medicare Advantage companies and brokers. Plus, once we got further into the customer experience, we realized this was one of the worst places to start your Medicare Advantage Plan journey.

Detailed resources on site

GoHealth's one strong point is that it offers a very informative website. This broker offers how-tos and resource pages about upcoming changes to Medicare to help you get started if you're new to Medicare and stay informed if you're a returning customer. However, when you get in touch with a representative, the positive aspects of GoHealth are almost forgettable. (Yes! Our experience was that bad!)

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No online quotes available

To get started with GoHealth, you need to verify your zip code to make sure there are plans available in your area. Following this, you'll provide your name and phone number. Then, you submit the form that grants GoHealth permission to contact you via text or allow partner businesses to reach out on their behalf. While this seems like a form to ask them to call you, this wasn't the case during our research. Instead, we had to proactively call them. The worst part of this form, though, was the scam calls. For weeks after giving our number to GoHealth we received calls daily from unknown numbers. So, if you're not a fan of handing out your private number to all of GoHealth's partners (who probably pay GoHealth to disclose your contact info), you might want to steer clear.

Creepy AI feel from calls

After submitting the form, we got a text notification from GoHealth which directed us to make a phone call. At first, we weren't sure if we were talking to a real person or some form of bot or AI. The representative who answered spoke very slowly and seemed to be following a script. The initial interaction took almost 5 minutes before we were placed on a long hold. After sitting for almost 10 minutes on hold, we were finally transferred to a licensed agent, who, like the woman who answered initially, also sounded like an AI. We had to listen to a long legal disclaimer before we could even get to the quote process, which was time-consuming and frustrating.

Rude reps are insulting and unhelpful

The representative refused to answer our questions for the first 20 minutes of the conversation. When we asked specific questions the agent got belligerent and insulted us directly. For example, when we noted (politely) that we had done significant research on Medicare Advantage Plans, including the tier of prescription that we were looking for, he said rudely, "You're not a licensed insurance provider." Further, when we stated that our example customer was not yet 65, he refused to tell us any information about prescription costs, and instead told us that we "didn't understand Medicare" and that we "needed to be properly educated." All of this was in an extremely belligerent and belittling tone. Finally, near the end of the conversation, we were able to learn that GoHealth offers a $0 premium plan with Cigna and a $202 plan at BCBS. However, if we were calling for our own real insurance rather than research purposes, we would have hung up as soon as the rep began insulting us. We can't recommend GoHealth for any person looking for a Medicare Advantage Plan.

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Surprisingly high-rated reviews

When it comes to credibility, GoHealth surprisingly holds an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and accreditation. Positive customer feedback showed 4- and 5-star ratings, which was a complete shock given our experience on the phone. However, after doing some digging into the reviews, we found that we weren't alone. There are a range of complaints about the call representatives being rude and unhelpful. And given the trouble involved with getting in touch with GoHealth in the first place, even the high BBB scores and star ratings don't make it worth it to waste your time here.

Deserve our lowest rating

We just can't recommend GoHealth. The complete rudeness of the call reps made it a miserable experience to just try and get a quote. We can't imagine any customer willing to put themselves through that treatment. Plus, with the creepy AI introduction, it feels like GoHealth doesn't really care about customers. After being on hold and insulted by the rep, we had to give up on ever getting a price for prescriptions for the Medicare Advantage Plans. If you're trying to find a Medicare Advantage Plan for yourself or for a loved one, the stress involved in dealing with GoHealth just isn't worth it. Bottom line? GoHealth gets our lowest rating. Do yourself (and your stress levels) a favor and check out the highly-rated options in our review instead.

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Continued from above...

One way to think of a Medicare Advantage Plan is like an all-inclusive resort stay. While you need to stick with a particular hotel (or, in this case, medical network), everything is handled for you from basic meals to entertainment (or prescriptions and medical specialists). Much like an all-inclusive resort experience, Medicare Advantage consolidates various features of Medicare, so your prescription drug coverage and services like dental, vision, and hearing are all taken care of in one place. These elements would typically require piecing together separate standalone plans which can be complicated and frustrating. Instead, you can get everything you need at once.

Premiums for Medicare Advantage plans change based on the provider and the specific plan. While you might find policies with $0 monthly payments, they can come with increased out-of-pocket expenses, such as office visit copays and annual deductibles. However, basics like primary care and prescriptions are often partially (if not completely) covered. On the other hand, if you're looking to see a specialist, you might prefer a plan with a higher premium to cover the cost of those visits.

When it comes to signing up for a Medicare Advantage Plan, there are two ways to find what you need: approaching an insurance company directly or collaborating with a broker. Choosing an insurer you already know and trust, potentially one that has been your healthcare provider before, might be the best way to go if you're looking for peace of mind and security. Typically, you can rely on getting the lowest possible premium quotes from that particular company. However, going through a broker or referral service can help you compare policies from different insurers at a glance. In this case, you might find better coverage from a competitor, and you can trust the broker to work on your behalf.

Regardless of the path you choose, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the different Medicare Advantage Plans, their benefits, and average premium costs for your demographic (age, gender, location). This helps you avoid feeling pressured to commit to a policy that may not align with your needs. Keep in mind that to apply for any Medicare Advantage Plan, you'll need your Medicare number, so make sure you complete the necessary steps to enroll in Medicare (A and B) before selecting your Advantage coverage.

If all of this sounds like a lot, don't worry. We've got your back. To simplify the process of finding Medicare Advantage Plans that are worth your time, we've put together a few criteria that might help you sort it all out:

  • Cost. When it comes to the cost of Medicare Advantage Plans, your health and your pre-existing conditions or your prescriptions may change the costs depending on which company you choose. While many options offer a $0 premium, you'll want to be sure that the premium includes all the benefits you're looking for. So, keep an eye on the deals and benefits to make sure the cost is worth it. Sometimes your prescriptions might cost less with different plans too, so watch out for those monthly costs as you research.
  • Coverage. There are tons of different plans and different names to choose from. As you look through Medicare Advantage Plans, make sure that you spend your time researching providers that offer coverage in your state. You'll also want to make sure that if you need prescription coverage, that's included in the options, as well as your primary care physician if you don't want to switch to someone else "in-network" .
  • Reputation. To get a smooth and stress-free experience, we recommend checking out reputable companies first. Whether you go through an insurance company directly or a broker, customer reviews and Better Business Bureau ratings can give you insight into a company's practices. If customers like you are happy (or unhappy) it can help you choose the best match for you.

To help you keep it simple and focus on your health and well-being, Top Consumer Reviews has reviewed and ranked the best Medicare Advantage Plans available today. This way, you can save time and money as you join (or change to) a new plan. We hope our research will help you find the best deals, the friendliest reps, and the top coverage so you can enjoy your golden years stress-free!

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Medicare Advantage Plan FAQ

Medicare Advantage Plans are a way of getting your Medicare Part A and Part B coverage through private companies approved by Medicare. These insurers have to follow specific rules in order to participate. These plans typically operate with an HMO or PPO structure, requiring you to use in-network providers for maximum benefits. Some customers appreciate getting their services bundled from an insurance company they already trust, often with extra benefits not found with Original Medicare.
If you have Medicare Part A and Part B, and there's a plan that is available where you live, you're eligible for Medicare Advantage. Bear in mind that Advantage policies are almost always network-based: if you live in another state during the year, your plan may not offer benefits in both places.
Yes! You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan either when you first sign up for Medicare A & B or during the yearly enrollment period from October 15 through December 7. Once you're enrolled in a plan, you can switch to a different one or back to Original Medicare from January 1 through March 31. There are also special enrollment periods for certain life events, like moving to a different address, losing your current coverage, or your contract not being renewed.
There are many differences between these two types of additional Medicare coverage. Medicare Supplement Plans, or Medigap, are designed to pay the out-of-pocket costs not paid by Medicare itself. These plans don't include prescription drugs, tend to have higher premiums than Advantage coverage, and you'll pay more if you don't enroll early on in your Medicare coverage. On the other hand, Medicare Advantage Plans are usually much lower in premiums and higher in out-of-pocket costs. Advantage policies often have prescription drug benefits. But, Medicare Advantage doesn't pay any of the costs that original Medicare doesn't cover. You can't be enrolled in both a Medigap plan and an Advantage plan at the same time.
That depends on the plan you select. However, one of the reasons Advantage plans are so attractive is because many of them do include dental, vision, or hearing benefits - or all three!
That also depends on the plan you choose. Almost every Medicare Advantage plan will still have out-of-pocket costs for prescriptions. When getting a quote, have your medications handy: many online quote platforms and insurance brokers will ask for the name and dosage, to provide you with an accurate estimate of what you'll spend for those specific prescriptions with a given Advantage policy.
Believe it or not, there are Medicare Advantage policies that have $0 monthly premiums. Of course, you get what you pay for - and if you want broader coverage and lower deductibles/out-of-pocket costs, your premiums will be higher.
That's a matter of preference. But, it can be helpful to start your search by using a website that offers quotes from multiple insurers, so that you can get a feel for what's available in your area. Many of these referring websites can walk you through the entire application process with any company you select, without pressuring you to choose one over another. On the other hand, if you already know which insurer you want - or maybe there's only one available where you live - there's nothing wrong with getting your plan right from the insurance company.
The Best Reviews of Medicare Advantage Plans