The 9 Best States for Medicare Drug Plans

Senior getting a prescription at a pharmacy
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Living on the East Coast has its advantages — ocean views, vibrant cities and the country’s best Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage.

Four of the five states that have the best available Medicare Advantage plans with drug coverage are located in the Eastern U.S., according to a recent survey by the website MedicareAdvantage.com.

Meanwhile, the West dominates the list of states where the best Medicare Part D prescription drug plans are available.

MedicareAdvantage.com — which is not affiliated with the federal government’s Medicare program — examined federal data from sea to shining sea to determine which U.S. states have “the widest range of quality private Medicare plans at the most affordable prices.”

Using four categories — affordability, availability, quality and popularity — the website found that the five best states for Medicare Advantage plans with drug coverage are:

  1. Delaware
  2. Connecticut
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. Florida
  5. Arizona

In describing why Delaware ranks at the top of the list, MedicareAdvantage.com says the state’s Medicare Advantage plans with prescription coverage have an average premium of just $30.53 per month and an average deductible of “just $54.43, or less than one-third of the national average.”

Delaware also made the top five states offering the best stand-alone prescription drug plans for people with traditional Medicare, which are also known as Medicare Part D plans. However, Western states dominated that list:

  1. Nevada
  2. Hawaii
  3. Delaware
  4. Alaska
  5. Colorado

In choosing Nevada as the top state for this category, MedicareAdvantage.com says:

“With 28 available plans, average premiums of $29.79 and the highest rate of four-star plans (more than 23%), Nevada’s [Part D] beneficiaries have it good.”

Choosing the right Medicare drug coverage

There are two main types of Medicare health insurance plans: traditional Medicare, which is the government-managed program also known as Original Medicare, and Medicare Advantage plans.

Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurers that contract with the government’s Medicare program. Medicare Advantage plans must provide all the same benefits as Original Medicare but can offer additional benefits not covered by Original Medicare.

In 2020, Medicare Advantage plans became even more attractive. As we reported, more of these private plans began offering more benefits to consumers — with drug coverage being one of the most common benefits. To learn more, check out “5 Extra Perks Covered by Many 2020 Medicare Advantage Plans.”

Traditional Medicare does not include prescription drug coverage, but people with this type of Medicare have the option to buy stand-alone drug coverage — that is, a Medicare Part D plan — from private insurers.

If you are in the market for a Part D plan, check out “How to Save Hundreds of Dollars on Medicare Drug Costs” for step-by-step instructions on comparison shopping for a Part D plan.

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