Seniors who are looking into Medicare Advantage plans might save themselves some time by starting with Highmark and the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan.
Those plans received the highest marks by far in J.D. Power’s 2020 Medicare Advantage Study.
The study, now in its sixth year, ranks plans based on ratings from Medicare Advantage plan members themselves. For the 2020 study, more than 3,300 such members from across the U.S. were polled.
The overall customer satisfaction scores are based on six factors. Listed in order of importance, they are:
- Coverage and benefits
- Provider choice
- Customer service
- Information and communication
- Billing and payment
The best Medicare Advantage plans
The average overall satisfaction score among Medicare Advantage plans included in J.D. Power’s latest study is 800 out of 1,000 points — a 5-point improvement from 2019.
Four of those plans earned average or above-average overall satisfaction scores. They are:
- Highmark: Overall satisfaction score of 830 out of 1,000 points
- Kaiser Foundation Health Plan: 829
- Humana: 806
- UnitedHealthcare: 800
The plans that earned below-average overall satisfaction scores are:
- Aetna: 789
- Cigna-HealthSpring: 781
- Anthem: 779
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan: 779
- Centene: 775
- WellCare: 773
Medicare Advantage versus Original Medicare
Medicare Advantage plans are one of two main types of Medicare. The other is Original Medicare, also referred to as traditional Medicare.
Original Medicare is offered directly by the federal government’s Medicare program, whereas Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurers that have been approved by the government’s Medicare program.
Medicare Advantage plans must cover the same services that Original Medicare covers but can cover other expenses as well. (We detail some of the services that Original Medicare does not cover in “5 Common Medical Expenses That Medicare Won’t Pay For.”)
So, from one Medicare Advantage plan to the next, coverage and costs can differ widely.
It’s Original Medicare coverage that seniors tend to be more satisfied with, however, at least according to the findings of a 2019 Insurance.com study, which we detail in “Seniors Rate This Type of Medicare Higher for Satisfaction.”
To learn more about Medicare, check out Money Talks News’ latest Medicare articles.
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