How much are the Medicare Advantage plans?

Medicare Advantage costs vary based on the insurer, zip code and type of plan and coverage.

Let’s first talk about how the plan type affects costs. You’ll likely pay lower premiums for a health maintenance organization (HMO) plan than a preferred provider organization (PPO). However, HMOs, which make up about two-thirds of Medicare Advantage plans, usually have more restrictive networks than PPOs and you usually have to get primary care provider referrals to see specialists.

High-deductible health plans (HDHPs) typically have lower premiums than HMOs and PPOs, but could have much higher out-of-pocket costs. That means you could possibly pay more for health care services in an HDHP.

There can be a monthly premium for some Medicare Advantage plans depending on where you live. In general, any monthly premiums incurred are in addition to Medicare Part B’s standard monthly premium of $174.70 for 2024.

Many insurers offering Medicare Advantage plans typically don’t charge any monthly premiums. Those plans may have high deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, though.

Other plan aspects that influence costs are prescription drug coverage and additional benefits. The more comprehensive the plan, the more likely you end up paying higher costs.

What’s the Medicare Advantage plan’s quality rating?

Medicare Plan Finder allows you to compare each plan’s rating. Medicare rates plans from 1-5 with 5 being the highest level.

Medicare devises these ratings on member experience, customer service and quality of care. Quality of care includes a plan’s preventive services and chronic condition management.

When comparing plans, make sure to look at both the overall quality rating and individual category rankings.

Is your doctor in the Medicare Advantage plan’s network?

Before choosing a plan, check that your physicians are considered in-network. If they’re not in your plan’s network, you’ll have to pay higher rates for out-of-network care when you visit them. You may even have to pick up the whole tab unless you are receiving emergency or urgently-needed care.

A good idea is to contact your physicians and ask the office about specific plans. You’ll want to have more information than just the insurer’s name. Physicians may accept one type of health plan from an insurer, but not another. So, give the office the exact health plan name to see whether the physician is in-network for that plan.

What additional benefits do the Medicare Advantage plans offer?

Medicare Advantage plans commonly offer prescription drug, dental and vision coverage.

However, in recent years, they’ve expanded into other areas, such as reimbursing for meal delivery, home safety and rides to doctor appointments. Typically, these benefits are available to individuals who have both Medicare and Medicaid, or a qualifying chronic condition. The reason for those expanded benefits is that these benefits may help keep people healthy.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2022, 98% of Medicare Advantage plans offer telehealth benefits. Some Medicare Advantage insurers are also offering plans with expanded palliative care, adult day health services and caregiver support. During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, 49% of Medicare Advantage enrollees used telehealth services, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

These benefits aren’t offered in every Medicare Advantage plan.

Also, additional benefits can come with differing premiums and total out-of-pocket costs, so you’ll want to keep that in mind when comparing Medicare Advantage plans.

Is Original Medicare a better choice for you?

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, most Americans have more than a dozen Medicare Advantage plan options. However, some areas, especially rural locations, have limited or no possibilities. In these cases, you may have no choice but to choose Original Medicare.

Also, you may find that Medicare Advantage plans in your region have limited provider network and your physicians may not even take Medicare Advantage.

Or you may just prefer Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking about going with Original Medicare2:

  • Medicare Part A covers hospitalizations. That’s free for nearly all Americans. Part B, which covers physician and outpatient services, costs $174.70 monthly for most people and those with Medicare Advantage plans pay this in addition to any Medicare Advantage plan premiums. There's also a $240 Part B deductible.
  • Original Medicare doesn’t include prescription drug coverage. To get that coverage, you need to pair a Part D plan with Original Medical. The average monthly Part D premium varies by plan.
  • Original Medicare often has larger provider networks than Medicare Advantage. A more expansive network can make it easier to get care.

No matter whether you choose Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan, make sure to compare plans and find one that makes the most sense to you. With a little effort, you’ll be able to find a plan that meets your specific needs.


  1. Kaiser Family Foundation. “FAQs on Medicare Coverage of Telehealth.” Accessed August 2022.
  2. “Costs.” Accessed August 2022.
  3. Kaiser Family Foundation. “Medicare Advantage in 2023: Enrollment Update and Key Trends.” Accessed September 2023. 

Medicare Advantage and Part D plans and benefits offered by the following carriers: Accendo, ACE-Chubb, Aetna Medicare, AFLAC, Allstate - National General, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aspire Health Plan, Capitol, Centene Corporation,  Cigna-HealthSpring, Dean Health Plan, Devoted Health, GlobalHealth, Health Care Service Corporation, Humana, Lumico - Elips, Manhattan Life - MAC, Molina Healthcare, Mutual of Omaha, Oscar Health Insurance, Premera Blue Cross, Medica Central Health Plan, SCAN Health Plan, Scott and White Health Plan now part of Baylor Scott & White Health, UnitedHealthcare®

Disclaimer: is not affiliated with or endorsed by the government or Federal Medicare program. Plans are insured or covered by a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract and/or a Medicare approved Part D sponsor. Enrollment in the plan depends on the plan’s contract renewal with Medicare. We do not offer every plan available in your area. Currently we represent 10 organizations which offer 100 products in your area. Please contact, 1800-MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) to get information on all of your options. Not all plans offer all of these benefits. Benefits and availability may vary by carrier and location. Limitations and exclusions may apply. Every year, Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system. Part B Premium give-back is not available with all plans. Actual Part B premium reduction could be lower. Deductibles, copays and coinsurance may apply. Enrollment in the described plan type may be limited to certain times of the year unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.