People Happy With Their Medicare Advantage Plans

Are People Happy With Their Medicare Advantage Plans?

Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are private health insurance options that offer an alternative way to receive Medicare benefits. MA plans are becoming more popular among Medicare beneficiaries, as they may offer lower costs and additional benefits compared to Original Medicare.

However, MA plans also have some drawbacks, such as limited provider networks and prior authorization requirements. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of MA plans and how they affect the satisfaction and well-being of enrollees.

What are the Pros of Medicare Advantage Plans?

MA plans have several advantages that may appeal to some Medicare beneficiaries. Here are some of them:

  • Lower costs: MA plans may have lower premiums, deductibles, copays, and coinsurance than Original Medicare. Some MA plans even have $0 premiums or offer rebates for Part B premiums. MA plans also have an annual out-of-pocket limit, which Original Medicare does not have. This means that once you reach a certain amount of spending in a year, your plan will cover 100% of your costs for the rest of the year.
  • Additional benefits: MA plans must cover all the services that Original Medicare covers, but they may also offer extra benefits that Original Medicare does not cover. These may include dental, vision, hearing, fitness, wellness, and prescription drug coverage. Some MA plans also provide services like telehealth, mental health support, healthy meals, vaccination assistance, and supplemental benefits for chronic conditions or social needs.
  • High satisfaction: According to a survey by the Better Medicare Alliance1, 98% of MA enrollees are satisfied with their plan and 97% are satisfied with their access to providers. Studies also show that MA enrollees have similar or better levels of satisfaction and care coordination than Original Medicare enrollees23.
  • Guaranteed acceptance: MA plans cannot reject you for pre-existing conditions, except for end-stage renal disease (ESRD). However, starting in 2021, people with ESRD can also enroll in MA plans.

What are the Cons of Medicare Advantage Plans?

MA plans also have some disadvantages that may make them less suitable for some Medicare beneficiaries. Here are some of them:

  • Limited networks: MA plans have networks of doctors, hospitals, and other providers that they contract with. You may have to pay more or get no coverage at all if you go outside your plan’s network. This may limit your choice of providers and affect the quality of care you receive.
  • Prior authorization: MA plans may require you to get approval from your plan before you can get certain services or see certain specialists. This is called prior authorization and it is meant to control costs and ensure appropriate care. However, prior authorization can also cause denials and delays in getting the care you need. 
  • Plan changes: MA plans can change their costs, benefits, and networks every year. This means that you may have to pay more or get less coverage for the same services or providers from one year to the next. You may also lose access to your preferred providers if they leave your plan’s network. You should review your plan’s annual notice of change (ANOC) carefully and compare it with other options during the open enrollment period.
  • Switching issues: If you want to switch from an MA plan to Original Medicare, you may face some challenges. For example, you may not be able to buy a Medigap policy to help cover your out-of-pocket costs under Original Medicare. Medigap policies are supplemental insurance policies that work with Original Medicare. However, Medigap insurers can deny you coverage or charge you more based on your health status if you apply outside your initial enrollment period or your guaranteed issue rights. You may also have to wait for a new Part D plan to start covering your prescriptions if you switch from an MA plan that includes drug coverage.

How to Choose Between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage?

Choosing between Original Medicare and MA is a personal decision that depends on your needs, preferences, and budget. You should consider the following factors when comparing your options:

  • Costs: Compare the premiums, deductibles, copays, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket limits of different plans. Also consider how much you expect to use health care services and how often you travel outside your plan’s service area.
  • Benefits: Compare the benefits offered by different plans and how they match your health needs. Also consider any extra benefits or services that may improve your quality of life or well-being.
  • Providers: Compare the networks of different plans and see if they include your preferred doctors, hospitals, and other providers. Also consider how easy or difficult it is to get referrals, prior authorization, or out-of-network coverage.
  • Quality: Compare the quality ratings and performance measures of different plans and see how they rank on customer satisfaction, care coordination, preventive care, chronic care, and other aspects of health care delivery.

You can use the Medicare Plan Finder tool on the Medicare website to research and compare different MA plans available in your area. You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or visit your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for free and unbiased counseling and assistance.


MA plans are popular and satisfying options for many Medicare beneficiaries, but they also have some drawbacks that may make them less appealing for others. Before you enroll in an MA plan, you should weigh the pros and cons carefully and compare it with Original Medicare and other alternatives. You should also review your plan every year and make changes if needed during the open enrollment period. By doing so, you can ensure that you get the best coverage and care for your health and well-being.

We’re Here to Help

You do not have to spend hours reading articles on the internet to get answers to your Medicare questions. Give the licensed insurance agents at Manatee Insurance Solutions a Call at (352) 221-3779. You will get the answers you seek in a matter of minutes, with no pressure and no sales pitch. We are truly here to help.


Are people happy with their Medicare Advantage Plans?

 The satisfaction level of Medicare Advantage enrollees varies. While some people are satisfied with their Medicare Advantage Plans, others may have concerns or complaints.

What are the pros and cons of Medicare Advantage?

Medicare Advantage Plans have several advantages, such as additional benefits like prescription drug coverage, dental and vision care, and potentially lower out-of-pocket costs. However, they also have disadvantages, including limited provider networks and the need to follow specific plan rules.

What is Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plan?

 Medicare Supplement Plans, also known as Medigap Plans, are private insurance policies that help cover the gaps in Medicare coverage. They can help pay for costs like deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance that Medicare does not cover.

How can I enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan?

To enroll in Medicare Advantage Plan, you need to be eligible for Medicare. You can enroll during the initial enrollment period, annual open enrollment period, or during a special enrollment period if you qualify.

How many Medicare Advantage Plans are available?

 There are many Medicare Advantage Plans available, offering different levels of coverage and benefits. The exact number of insurance plans include or available can vary depending on your location.

What is the worst Medicare Advantage Plan?

 There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as the “worst” plan can vary depending on individual needs and preferences. It is important to carefully review and compare different plans to find the one that best meets your specific healthcare needs and budget.

Do all Medicare Advantage Plans require a prescription drug plan?

 Not all Medicare Advantage Plans require a prescription drug plan, but many do include it as part of their coverage. It is important to review the details of each plan to understand what is included and whether a separate prescription drug plan is necessary.

What does Medicare Advantage coverage include?

 Medicare Advantage Plans often include all the benefits of Medicare Part A and Part B, along with additional benefits like prescription drug coverage, vision, dental, and hearing services. Some plans may also offer wellness programs and other preventive care services.

Can I enroll in both Medicare and Medicare Advantage?

 No, you cannot enroll in both Medicare and Medicare Advantage. You must choose either traditional Medicare or Medicare Advantage coverage.

Are Medicare Advantage beneficiaries satisfied with their plans?

 Satisfaction levels among Medicare Advantage beneficiaries vary. While some people are satisfied with their plans, others may have complaints or concerns about network limitations, out-of-pocket costs, or the specific rules and restrictions of their plan.