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What are the worst medicare advantage plans?

Not in every situation are Medicare Advantage plans that bad. Although, they are certainly not a good fit for everyone’s health coverage. We will help clarify why these seemingly too-good-to-be-true plans have a less-than-stellar reputation.


worst medicare advantage plans

Medicare Advantage Plans

medicare advantage plansA Medicare Advantage is another way to get your Medicare Part A and B coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans, sometimes called “Part C” or “MA Plans,” are offered by Medicare-approved private companies that must follow the rules set by Medicare.

If you join a Medicare Advantage Plan, you’ll still have Medicare, but you’ll get most of your Part A and Part B coverage from your Medicare Advantage Plan, not Original Medicare.
These “bundled” plans include Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)
And usually, Medicare drug coverage (Part D)

All Medicare Advantage Plans provide:

 The benefits that Part A provides (coverage for hospice might be covered, but if not, it’s still offered by Part A) *

  • medicare advantage plansThe benefits of Medicare Part B

 Most of the Advantage Plans will Cover:

  •  Prescription drugs

Plans may also provide:

  • Dental cleanings, exams, X-rays
  • Eye exams, eyeglasses, plus corrective lenses
  • Hearing exams and hearing aids
  • fitness memberships and Wellness programs 
  • Other extra benefits such as transportation to medical appointments and virtual provider visits*Hospice care will be paid by part A even if you have a Medicare Advantage plan.

Some important notes on Medicare Advantage plans

  • Some plans will have provider networks; some will not.
  • Out-of-pocket cost limitations can vary by program.
  • Plan premiums can vary by program, with different ones to fit different budgets.
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We’re your online shopping partner for comparing Medicare plans. We’ll match you to plans that cover your needs and fit your budget.

Why Medicare Advantage Plans are Bad

why medicare advantage plans are badYou might have seen dozens of advertisements for zero-dollar premium Medicare Advantage plans claiming to provide you with all-in-one coverage. These Medicare Advantage plans might include prescription drug coverage, vision care, dental, hearing aids, and maybe free membership to a gym. Yet, you may listen to people complaining about or criticizing these plans. So, what are some of the disadvantages of Medicare Advantage? Why is Medicare Advantage plans bad?

Medicare Advantage plans are not always bad in every situation. That being said, they are not a good fit for everyone. These seemingly too-good-to-be-true plans have a less-than-stellar reputation. Below, we are going to help clear that up.

Pros and Cons of Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Advantage plans often provide more plan benefits than you would get under Original Medicare.

Medicare Advantage plans must offer at least the same level of coverage as Medicare Part A and Part B, and many programs provide added benefits. These might include coverage for routine vision care, hearing aids, some dental care, prescription drug coverage, and gym membership.

Medicare Advantage plans may cost you less.

If you choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you will continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium, and you may also pay an additional premium on top of that. Of course, the insurer determines the Medicare Advantage plan’s premium, which can vary from one Medicare Advantage plan to another. Some Medicare Advantage plans may have tips as low as $0.

pros and cons of medicare advantage plansCost sharing could also be less with a Medicare Advantage plan. For example, if you visit your primary care physician under Medicare Advantage, you may pay a copayment of $10. However, if you see a PCP under Original Medicare, you may have a coinsurance of 20%, which could cost more than $10.

Also, a Medicare Advantage plan limits your maximum out-of-pocket exposure. Once you have spent that max, you will pay nothing for covered medical services for the entire year. Original Medicare doesn’t have out-of-pocket maximums. Therefore, leaving your potential expenses limitless.

Medicare Advantage plans can be less expensive than comparable coverage you would get by staying with Original Medicare. To ensure you get all the benefits of the Medicare Advantage plan with Original Medicare, you will also need to enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan and a Medicare Supplement plan.

Medicare Advantage plans coordinate care with your health care team.

Medicare Advantage plans are managed care and provide networks of contracted health care providers. Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Medicare Advantage plans, for example. These HMO plans require you to select a Primary Care Physician (PCP) who helps coordinate your care.

MAPs that include prescription drug coverage may also manage medication therapy. This care coordination is a nice convenience for some and a valuable aid to your overall healthcare.

Medicare Advantage plans it is your “one-stop” place for coordinating all your health and prescription drug coverage needs.

Many Medicare Advantage plans will combine medical and Part D prescription drug coverage. Also, many will coordinate the delivery of added benefits, such as vision, dental, and hearing care. You also may prefer the convenience of working with one plan administrator.

Five Disadvantges of Medicare Advantage Plans

five disadvantages of medicare advantage plans

Worst Medicare Advantage Plans

There are many reasons why beneficiaries feel like Medicare Advantage plans are bad. Some policyholders can give you a list of disadvantages, while others might be completely satisfied with their Medicare Advantage coverage. Just depends on who you ask; the answer to this question varies.

Many Medicare Advantage policyholders dislike the plans because they think they are free. Even without a monthly premium, most beneficiaries spend more out-of-pocket on a Medicare Advantage plan than they would on a Medicare Supplement plan.

Ready to see the plans in your area

List of Medicare Advantage Plans

list of medicare advantage plansMedicare Advantage plan types:

  • Private Fee-For-Service (PFFS)
  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
  • Medical Savings Accounts (MSA)
  • Special Needs Plans (SNP)

The selection of plan types could differ from one county and state to another. One or more of these Medicare Advantage plan types available in your area may include. 

Medicare HMO

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans utilize a primary care physician for all initial care, and members must get a referral before seeing a particular specialist for care. Also, no coverage for medical care is received outside of the plan’s network. 

Medicare PPO

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans have more freedom by offering coverage for in-network or out-of-network care and not requiring a referral before visiting a specialist.

PPO plans can come in either regional PPOs or local PPOs

Medicare PFFS

Private Fee-For-Service (PFFS) plans pre-determine what they will pay health care providers and facilities for services and how much the member will pay.

Medicare Medical Savings Accounts

Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) combine a high-deductible health plan with a bank account where Medicare deposits money to pay for health care services and items. 

Medicare Special Needs Plans

Special Needs Plans (SNPs) are custom-designed for people with specific diseases and health conditions.

Compare Medicare Advantage Plans

compare medicare advantage plansEveryone is different, so you’ll want to carefully research Medicare Advantage plan options in light of your specific health needs and budget. Thorough research and a follow-up conversation with your family and current primary care physician can help you find the highest-rated Medicare Advantage plans or names of Medicare Advantage plans.

Keep in mind that plan costs, benefits, service areas, and provider networks may change from year to year, so it’s a good idea to review your coverage every year and make sure it’s still a good fit for your situation. Taking the time to shop around and doing different searches to compare Medicare Advantage plan options and even the best Medicare Advantage PPO plans in your area could save you money on out-of-pocket costs.


Local plans can be high-quality and reasonably priced. Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana and United Healthcare earn the highest rankings among the national carriers in many states.
HMO plans typically have lower monthly premiums. You can also expect to pay less out of pocket. PPOs tend to have higher monthly premiums in exchange for the flexibility to use providers both in and out of network without a referral. Out-of-pocket medical costs can also run higher with a PPO plan.
Yes, you can elect to switch to traditional Medicare from your Medicare Advantage plan during the Medicare Open Enrollment period, which runs from October 15 to December 7 each year. Your coverage under traditional Medicare will begin January 1 of the following year.

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After starting his financial career with Phoenix Home Life Insurance Company back in 1992, Scott decided he wanted to provide people with an easier and more enjoyable way to buy life insurance. That was the start of Coach B. Life Insurance, whose mission is to be transparent, honest, and helpful to customers — without ever bugging or pushing them.

In the years since then, he has worked tirelessly to improve the process of shopping for insurance. His goal is to make sure that everyone who comes to Coach B. — whether they end up buying a policy or not — has the best possible experience.

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