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Medicare Advantage Plans for 2017

Despite past concerns over the impact of health reform on Medicare, the government expects 2017 Medicare Advantage plans to become an even more popular option in the future. Thirty-one percent of Medicare beneficiaries signed up for Advantage in 2015, and that’s just about one million more than signed up in 2014. This trend is expected to continue in the future.

Comparing Medicare plans for 2017 doesn’t have to be difficult. If you select your state from the box in our quote form, you will be instantly routed to a page of local Medicare providers. In addition to Advantage, you can also view 2017 Medicare supplement insurance and drug plans. Just click on any option to learn more.

2017 Medicare Advantage Plans

All Medicare Advantage is provided by private insurance companies. Out of these, United Healthcare and Humana Medicare are the largest with over 3 million members of their various plans. In next place are Kaiser and Etna with just around 1.1 million members.

These are the largest providers of Medicare Advantage plans in the US:

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • United Healthcare
  • Humana Medicare
  • Anthem
  • WellCare
  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • AARP

A comparison of options all across the country will reveal several trends in Medicare Advantage, also called Part C. These are the predictions for Medicare Advantage plans for 2017:

  • Higher quality: There should be a greater percentage of plans that earn four or five stars from Medicare’s quality rating system. Medicare rewards quality insurers, and so do plan members.
  • Fewer choices: Overall, there will be fewer choices available for most beneficiaries. A few years ago, the average Medicare recipient had almost 50 options, but an average beneficiary is expected to have less than 20 next year.
  • Fewer zero premium options: Insurers are also cutting back on no monthly premium HMOs. Rising prices and an emphasis on earning good quality ratings may be behind this trend.
  • Affordable rates: Medicare Advantage rates are still expected to remain affordable, and there will probably be some zero premium Medicare Advantage plans for 2016 in most areas.
  • More HMOs: Out of all of the plan types, local HMOs will probably gain the most members as they can control costs the best. However, PPOs should still be common because some plan members prefer to pay more for more choices.

Why Compare Plans Every Year?

Because benefits, provider networks, and drug coverage tend to change a bit each year, it is always a good idea to consider replacement plans during open enrollment. In the fall, each beneficiary has the chance to review local options and decide to keep their old coverage or sign up with another company. This is true if you are new to Medicare or have already been enrolled in coverage fr years.

2017 Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans

Medigap policies aren’t going away next year. While almost 30 percent of qualified beneficiaries are expected to join Advantage, over 20 percent will either buy or renew 2017 Medicare supplement insurance plans. Both supplements and Advantage give Medicare beneficiaries a way to enhance their Part A and B health benefits.

However, supplements work to fill in the gaps for those things that original Medicare either won’t cover or wont completely cover. In all states but three, supplements are offered according to standard levels with names from “A” to “N.” The three states that are exceptions have their own standard levels that are slightly different.

Even if one of these supplements is purchased from a different insurer, benefits will be exactly the same. In this case, people should shop for these plans by price. It’s also important to remember that many Advantage plans come with Part D, but supplement owners always have to buy Part D separately.

You can never find a supplement that doesn’t have a premium. Typically, supplement premiums are higher than they are for Advantage plans. Still, some people find that they enjoy more flexibility to choose their own health providers because supplements don’t use networks. Medicare supplements usually work anywhere that Medicare works, and some supplements even offer emergency foreign coverage.

Because the more expensive supplements can almost completely eliminate out-of-pocket health expenses, they may help some beneficiaries save money in the long run.
The interesting thing to note is that the two supplements that are the most expensive, Plan F and C, are also the most commonly purchased. This might be surprising, but for some beneficiaries, the price of the premium is low when compared to the cost of the deductibles and copays that the supplement might cover for them.

We Can Help You Shop for Medicare Advantage Plans in 2017

No major changes are planned for Medicare in the coming year. However, subtle changes in plans, premiums, and even provider networks might make one option better than another for a particular Medicare recipient. We hope to make it as easy as possible to find the best Medicare insurance with our simple quote form.

All you have to do is pick your state from the quote box on the top of this page to get started. After that, submit the form to instantly see local options from quality companies. You can select any of these choices to learn more details or get contact information to speak with live agents. By providing this online Medicare insurance quote system, we hope to help thousands of 2017 Medicare beneficiaries make good choices about their health insurance.