Seniors who are looking into Medicare Advantage plans might save themselves some time by starting with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan.
It received the highest ranking by a healthy margin in J.D. Power’s 2022 Medicare Advantage Study.
The study, now in its eighth year, ranks plans based on ratings from Medicare Advantage plan members themselves. For the 2022 study, more than 3,000 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 809 out of 1,000 points — a 3-point improvement from 2021.
Three of those plans earned above-average overall satisfaction scores. They are:
- Kaiser Foundation Health Plan: Overall satisfaction score of 844 out of 1,000 points (which is down slightly from 846 in 2021)
- Humana: 824 (up from 822)
- Highmark: 811 (down from 834)
The plans that earned below-average overall satisfaction scores are:
- UnitedHealthcare: Overall satisfaction score of 808 out of 1,000 points
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan: 802
- Aetna: 796
- Anthem (now Elevance Health): 791
- Cigna Health: 790
- Centene: 773
Medicare Advantage versus Original Medicare
Medicare Advantage is one of the 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 also can cover other expenses as well. (We detail some of the services that Original Medicare does not cover in “Medicare Will Not Cover These 9 Medical Costs.”)
So, from one Medicare Advantage plan to the next, coverage and costs can differ widely.