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Best Medicare Advantage Plans in Kansas in 2024

A Medicare Advantage (MA) Plan is an alternative way for Medicare beneficiaries to receive health insurance coverage from private insurers. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) awards contracts to private insurance companies that agree to provide members with Medicare Parts A and B coverage.

Many MA Plans offer prescription drug coverage and additional benefits such as routine hearing, vision, dental exams, and fitness club memberships. Discover more about these top-rated MA plans available in Kansas in 2024. This article ranks the plans’ coverage, average costs, and quality ratings.

Best Medicare Advantage plans in Kansas in 2024: shortlist

  1. UnitedHealthcare — best overall Medicare Advantage Plan in Kansas
  2. Aetna — affordable Medicare Plan options with a focus on wellness
  3. Humana — Medicare Advantage Plan with the largest service area in Kansas

Best Medicare Advantage plan in Kansas: our top picks

Our top picks for the best Medicare Advantage plans in Kansas available in 2024 include UnitedHealthcare, Aetna, and Humana. We evaluated industry criteria, identifying the top tier in quality, service area coverage, affordability, and the best overall member value. However, your needs might be more geared toward greater access to care, more affordable costs, or other additional benefits.

MA plans include many options, and it’s essential to find one that suits your situation. Read more on these top-rated MA plans and discover additional search tools to find the best fit for your healthcare needs.

1. UnitedHealthcare — best overall Medicare Advantage plan in Kansas

Provider overview
On Apollo's Website

UnitedHealthcare (UHC) is an affordable yet high-quality plan that services most Kansas counties. UHC offers some plans with $0 options for monthly premiums, making it affordable for most people.

They provide additional benefits such as vision, fitness, dental, and hearing. They may also have an eyewear allowance and 24/7 telephonic access to a nurse. UHC has the highest average CMS Star ratings in Kansas.

2. Aetna — great Medicare plan options for overall health

Provider overview
On Apollo's Website

Aetna offers PPO and HMO MA plans that focus on overall health. With many $0 monthly premium options and $0 drug deductibles, Aetna is among the more affordable options.

Some unique benefits Aetna offers are Resources for Living, a 24-hour nurse line, prescription delivery, SilverSneakers fitness membership, OTC benefits, and meals-at-home post-hospitalization. Benefit options vary by plan. Aetna offers 124 contracts throughout 41 counties in Kansas.

3. Humana — Medicare Advantage plan with the largest service area in Kansas

Provider overview
On Apollo's Website

Humana is featured for its high customer service ratings and expansive service area covering all 105 Kansas counties. Some unique benefits include Part B premium giveback, SilverSneakers fitness memberships, and a spending allowance.

Benefit options vary by plan. Humana has an extensive network of healthcare providers and 630 contract options available. Humana provides a wide range of prescription drug coverage.

Comparing the top 3 Medicare Advantage plans in Kansas

We consolidated our search criteria in this chart, comparing MA plan costs, availability, quality ratings, and customer satisfaction ratings. You can compare plans available in your zip code on Medicare’s plan-finding tool.

UnitedHealthcareAetnaHumana
Average monthly premiums$11.26
$0.00$27.87
Average in-network max-out-of-pocket$4,169.26$4,781.05$5,024.17
Average annual drug deductible$21.27$0.00$226.29
Extra benefitsFitness, dental, hearing, Part B premium reductions, eyewear allowance, Prescription drug home delivery, house calls, Fitbit, virtual visitsFitness, dental, hearing, meal delivery, OTC allowance, prescription home deliveryPart B premium giveback, SilverSneakers, spending allowance; user-friendly website, free rides to doctor’s appointments
Number of contracts available287124630
Number of counties services7441105
Average CMS star ratings4.1/53.7/53.7/5
NCQA (based on quality and member experience)3/5, accredited 3.5/5, not accredited 4/5, accredited
J.D. Powers (Overall customer satisfaction index ranking 2022)4th out of 96th out of 92nd out of 9

How we ranked the best Kansas Medicare Advantage plans?

We ranked the best Kansas Medicare Advantage Plans by evaluating the following criteria:

  • Cost. We utilized the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) 2023 data to evaluate plan costs such as monthly premiums, annual prescription drug coverage, and in-network max-out-of-pocket limits.
  • Availability. The service area for MA plans is based on Kansas counties and zip codes. We used CMS 2023 data to identify the number of providers and contracts provided per county.
  • Quality Ratings. CMS maintains a public transparency tool to rate every plan called the 5-Star Rating system based on five categories and 38 quality measures. We used the CMS Star Ratings from CMS.gov and data from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Report Cards to evaluate members’ quality experience. The NCQA is a non-profit organization that is the leader in healthcare accreditation.
  • Customer Satisfaction. We utilized J.D. Powers' overall customer satisfaction index ranking from 2022 for each MA Plan. This J.D. Power analysis considered six factors: coverage and benefits, provider choice, cost, customer service, information and communication, and billing and payment.

Medicare Advantage in Kansas: things to know

General points to consider regarding a Medicare Advantage Plan include cost, provider network, and service area. All MA plans provide your Medicare Parts A and B services and, in most cases, Part D and additional benefits. You may select an MA plan regardless of your preexisting health conditions.

Healthcare providers can choose to join or leave MA plans, which means you may need to select a new provider if that happens during the year. Unlike Original Medicare, you can save costs using your MA plan’s in-network health services.

  • MA Plan service area is based on your Kansas county and zip code
  • Average consolidated monthly premium of Kansas MA Plans (excluding $0 premiums): $54.09
  • Average annual drug deductible of Kansas MA plans: $378.96
  • Average in-network max out-of-pocket amount: $4,741
  • Medicare mandates that the max OOP amount for MA plans is $8,300, although most plans have lower amounts
  • Average overall star rating: 3.75

What providers offer Medicare Advantage plans in Kansas

Ten insurance carriers offer Medicare Advantage plans in Kansas in 2024. They are listed alphabetically, along with the number of contracts each provider offers.

  • Aetna Medicare – 124
  • Ascension Complete – 24
  • BlueCross and BlueShield of Kansas – 78
  • Blue Medicare Advantage – 12
  • Cigna – 18
  • Humana – 630
  • Lasso Healthcare – 210
  • Medica – 93
  • UnitedHealthcare – 287
  • Wellcare by Allwell – 235

These Medicare Advantage Plans in Kansas comprise various health insurance models, including HMO, PPO, PFFS, MSA, and SNP. To learn more about each model of MA plan, read Best Medicare Advantage Plans. HMO and PPO plans are the most commonly offered.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) awards contracts to MA Plans and is responsible for rating Medicare Advantage plans. The ratings are calculated annually and updated on CMS.gov. Each category is rated on a scale of 1–5 stars, with 1 being the worst and 5 being the best. The Star Rating System for MA Plans with prescription drug coverage is based on five main categories comprising 38 quality measures.

MA plans rated 4 or 5 are considered “excellent.” In 2024, approximately 78% of MA Plan beneficiaries nationwide enrolled in a plan rated 4 or more stars.

The rating categories include:

  • Staying healthy (screenings, tests and vaccines)
  • Managing chronic (long-term) conditions
  • Member experiences with health plan
  • Member complaints and changes in the health plan performance
  • Health plan customer service

There is one MA Health Plan, UnitedHealthcare, in Kansas that achieved a 5-Star CMS Ratings in 2024. The following plans are offered by this provider:

UnitedHealthcare:

  • Erickson Advantage Freedom (HMO-POS)
  • Erickson Advantage Liberty with Drugs (HMO-POS)
  • Erickson Advantage Liberty without Drugs (HMO-POS)
  • Erickson Advantage Signature with Drugs (HMO-POS)

Medicare Advantage plans in Kansas: comparing different counties

MA plan coverage is based on county and zip code. Kansas contains 105 counties with more than 2.9 million residents. The chart below shows cost averages and the number of plans available for the four counties with the highest percentage of the population aged 65 or older.

Jewell CountySmith CountyElk CountyComanche County
Pop aged 65+31.9%29.9%27.6%25.8%
Avg. monthly premium $43.41$43.41$25.33$19.33
No. of MA plan providers4462
No. of contracts available1414215
MA plan providersHumana, Lasso Healthcare, Medica, UnitedHealthcareHumana, Lasso Healthcare, Medica, UnitedHealthcareAetna Medicare, Humana, Lasso Healthcare, Medica, UnitedHealthcare, Wellcare by AllwellHumana, Lasso Healthcare
Avg. max in-network-out-of-pocket $2,842.86$2,842.86$3,835.71$2,020.00
Avg. annual drug deductible $149.17$149.17$138.75$505.00

What are the eligibility requirements for a Medicare Advantage plan in Kansas?

You must be a Medicare beneficiary with Part A and B coverage to be eligible to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan in Kansas. You may not concurrently be enrolled in Medigap, and you must also live within the service area of your selected MA plan. You cannot be denied coverage based on a preexisting health condition. Before enrollment, you are not required to answer health questions unless you have end-stage renal disease. To be a Medicare beneficiary, you must:

  • Qualify to receive Social Security (or Railroad Retirement) benefits by having worked for at least 10 years while paying Medicare and Social Security taxes
  • Be at least 65 or have a qualifying disease or disability for earlier enrollment

You may sign up for, switch, or drop an MA plan during set enrollment periods. These include:

  • Initial Enrollment Period when you turn 65. You'll have a 7-month window surrounding your 65th birthday to initially enroll.
  • Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period. Occurs annually during October 15th - December 7th.
  • Special Enrollment Period. Can occur throughout the year based on extenuating life circumstances such as an employment change or a move.

Choosing the best Medicare Advantage plan in Kansas

Consider these questions when choosing a Medicare Advantage plan to help you obtain the coverage that’s right for you. You have the option to change MA plans or switch to Original Medicare at set times throughout the year.

  1. Plan network. Are your doctors and specialists in-network?
  2. Cost. What will the plan cost? Consider the monthly premium, drug cost, deductibles, co-pays/coinsurance, and max out-of-pocket costs.
  3. Benefits. What are the additional perks and benefits?
  4. Medications. Are my prescription medications covered?
  5. Utilization. How often do you plan to use your benefits?
  6. Coverage area. Will you be traveling often?

Medicare.gov offers a plan comparison tool that many people find useful: Medicare’s plan finding tool. You can compare multiple insurance providers simultaneously.

Kansas State offers free programs to provide assistance in choosing the right health coverage. These programs include:

  • Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas (SHICK) is a state program that offers free local health insurance counseling to people with Medicare coverage. These programs are independent of any insurance company and funded with federal monies through the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). SHICK also offers employment and Medicare information, disability and Medicare information, Supplemental Rate Comparisons, and Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage assistance. Visit the SHICK website or call 1-800-860-5260 for more details.
  • The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services contracts with the Southwest Kansas Area Agency on Aging to provide free counseling services to all Kansans and empower them to select services and supports to meet their needs adequately. Programs include Health Promotion, In-Home Services, Kansas Caregivers, Kansas Senior Nutrition Program, and Medicare Programs.

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