Searching for Missouri's best Medicare Advantage (MA) plan can be overwhelming. That's why we have created a list of our top-ranked MA plans in Missouri in 2023. Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Medicare Part C, provide consolidated health insurance options for Medicare beneficiaries to receive Medicare Parts A and B services.
MA plans commonly offer Part D prescription coverage and additional benefits such as hearing, vision, and dental exams. This article highlights some of the best features of our top MA providers in Missouri.
Best Medicare Advantage plans in Missouri in 2023: shortlist
- UnitedHealthCare — best Medicare Advantage plan in Missouri overall
- Aetna — good quality plans with affordable options
- Humana — great plan options with a robust coverage network
Best Medicare Advantage plans in Missouri: our top picks
Three companies, including United Healthcare, Aetna, and Humana, rose to the top of our search for the best Medicare Advantage plans in Missouri in 2023. These MA plans are featured because of their high-quality ratings, large service area and network coverage, and budget-friendly costs.
Your search might be focused on additional benefits or specific prescription drug coverage, so it’s important to compare all your options. Read more to learn about our top MA plan in Missouri picks and discover search tools to help you narrow down the right plans for your unique healthcare needs.
1. UnitedHealthcare— best Medicare Advantage plan in Missouri overall
UnitedHealthcare (UHC) is a well-established, high-quality insurance provider offering four types of Medicare Advantage plans. UHC achieved an average 4-star CMS rating in the State of Missouri. UHC provides plan options in all 115 Missouri counties to meet most healthcare and budget needs.
They offer unique benefits such as UCard for healthy food and over-the-counter products, Renew Active Medicare fitness programs, and $0 co-pays for primary care, virtual visits, and lab tests.
2. Aetna— good quality plans with affordable options
Aetna offers low-cost plans focused on wellness and total health. With over 200 plans with $0 monthly premium options, Aetna is among the more affordable options in Missouri.
Unique benefits Aetna offers are Resources for Living, 24-hour nurse line, prescription delivery, SilverSneakers fitness membership, over-the-counter benefit, and meals-at-home post hospitalization.
3. Humana— great plan options with a robust coverage network
Humana Medicare Advantage plans are known for high customer service ratings, ranking second-highest on J.D. Power MA Plan Overall Satisfaction. Humana has a broad coverage network serving all 115 Missouri counties.
Some benefits include Part B premium giveback for qualified individuals, SilverSneakers fitness memberships, and a spending allowance. Humana provides a wide range of prescription drug coverage.
Comparison of the top 3 Medicare Advantage plans in Missouri
This chart compares the criteria we evaluated when considering MA plans. We considered costs, availability, quality ratings, and customer satisfaction ratings.
You can compare plans available in your zip code on Medicare’s plan finding tool.
|Avg. monthly premium||$34.79||$40.85||$58.31|
|Avg. in-network out-of-pocket-max||$4,832.80||$4,769.19||$5,205.95|
|Avg. annual drug deductible||$260.45||$150||$310.75|
|Number of contracts available||692||370||869|
|No. of counties serviced||115||100||115|
|Avg. CMS ratings||4.0||4.2||3.8|
|NCQA (based on quality and member experience)||Accredited 3.5/5||Not Accredited 3.5/5||Accredited 4/5|
|J.D. Powers (Overall Customer Satisfaction Index Ranking 2022)||4 out of 9||6 out of 9||2 out of 9|
How did we choose the best Missouri Medicare Advantage plans?
We ranked the best Missouri Medicare Advantage plans by evaluating cost, availability, quality ratings, and customer satisfaction ratings from publicly available sources such as CMS.gov, NCQA, and J.D. Powers.
- 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 out-of-pocket-max limits.
- Availability. The service area for MA plans is based on Missouri 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 nonprofit 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 Missouri: things to know
You’ll want to know your rights and options before selecting a Medicare Advantage plan in Missouri. At a minimum, every MA plan is required to provide your Medicare Parts A and B services, but it often also offers Part D prescription coverage and additional benefits. Plan availability varies by zip code and county. Most MA plans have an online zip code search tool to identify available plans where you live.
You cannot be denied enrollment for an MA plan due to a preexisting health condition. When enrolling, you won’t need to answer any health questions unless you have end-stage renal disease. Just as members can enroll or drop MA plans, so can healthcare providers. Your healthcare provider could choose to join or leave MA plans throughout the year, which could mean picking a new healthcare provider.
When considering plan costs, knowing the MA plan Missouri State averages could be helpful. Note that you can save costs by using your in-network coverage. The average prices are listed below:
- Average consolidated monthly premium of Missouri MA plans (excluding $0 premiums): $42.63
- Average annual drug deductible of Missouri MA plans: $310.13
- Average in-network out-of-pocket-max amount: $4,793
- Medicare mandates that the max OOP amount for MA plans is $8,300 although most plans have lower amounts
- Average Overall Star Rating: 3.9
What providers offer Medicare Advantage plans in Missouri
Missouri currently has 3,168 contracts provided by 14 insurance carriers that offer Medicare Advantage plans in 2023. The insurance carriers are listed alphabetically, along with the number of contracts each provider offers:
- Aetna Medicare – 370
- Anthem BlueCross and BlueShield – 232
- Anthem HealthKeepers – 85
- Blue Medicare Advantage – 64
- Cigna – 81
- Cox HealthPlans – 7
- Essence Healthcare – 46
- Humana – 869
- Lasso Healthcare – 230
- Medica – 18
- UnitedHealthcare – 692
- Wellcare – 315
- Wellcare by Allwell – 147
- WellFirst Health – 12
Medicare Advantage plans are commonly offered as HMO or PPO plans but could also include other insurance models such as Private Fee-For-Service, Medical Savings Account, or Special Needs Plan. To learn more about each model of the MA plan, read Best Medicare Advantage plans.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is the governmental authority that evaluates and ranks Medicare Advantage plans annually to measure each plan’s quality and customer service. This ranking is published on CMS.gov. MA plans are rated on a scale of 1–5 stars, with 1 being the worst and 5 being the best. Four or five stars are considered “excellent.” In 2023, approximately 78% of MA plan beneficiaries nationwide have been enrolled in a plan rated 4 or more stars.
There are five main rating categories comprising 38 quality measures. The rating categories include:
- Staying healthy (screenings, tests, and vaccines)
- Managing chronic (long –term) conditions
- Member experience with health plan
- Member complaints and changes in the health plan’s performance
- Health plan customer service
One MA Provider in Missouri achieved 5-Star CMS ratings. The following plans are offered by this provider:
- Essence Advantage (HMO)
- Essence Advantage Plus (HMO)
- Essence Advantage Select (HMO)
Medicare Advantage plans in Missouri: comparing different counties
The service area for MA plans is based on county and zip code. Missouri has 115 counties and equivalent, home to more than 6.1 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.
|Hickory County||Stone County||Benton County||Camden County|
|Pop. aged 65+||32.4%||32.0%||31.1%||29.8%|
|Avg. monthly premium||$0||$0||$0||$0|
|Avg. in-network out-of-pocket-max||$4,315||$4,252.27||$4,653.33||$4,652.94|
|Avg. annual drug deductible (excluding $0 plans)||$200||$505||$200||$200|
|No. of MA plan providers||6||8||4||6|
|No. of contracts available||20||22||15||17|
What are the eligibility requirements for a Medicare Advantage plan in Missouri?
To be eligible for enrollment in a Medicare Advantage plan in Missouri, you must be a Medicare beneficiary with Medicare Part A and Part B coverage.
Medicare beneficiaries qualify if they:
- Have worked for at least 10 years while paying Medicare and Social Security taxes.
- Are at least 65 years old or have a qualifying disease or disability for earlier enrollment.
You will not be required to answer any health questions during your application process unless you have end-stage renal disease. You cannot be denied coverage based on a preexisting health condition.
You may sign up for, switch, or drop an MA plan during set enrollment periods. These include:
- Initial Enrollment Period when you turn 65. There is a 7-month window surrounding your 65th birthday during which Initial Enrollment applies.
- Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period. This period occurs annually during October 15 - December 7.
- Special Enrollment Period. You may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period due to an extenuating life change such as employment change/loss or a move.
Choosing the best Medicare Advantage plan in Missouri
Choosing the best Medicare Advantage plan in Missouri can be achieved by matching the plan offerings to your unique situation. These questions may help in narrowing your search for the right MA plan for you.
- Plan network. Are your doctors and specialists in-network?
- Cost. What will the plan cost? Consider the monthly premium, drug cost, deductibles, co-pays/coinsurance, and max out-of-pocket costs.
- Benefits. What are the additional perks and benefits?
- Medications. Are my prescription medications covered?
- Utilization. How often do you plan to use your benefits?
- 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.
Missouri State offers free programs to provide assistance in choosing the right health coverage. These programs include:
- Missouri State Health Insurance Assistance Program (MO SHIP), formerly Missouri CLAIM, is a state program that offers free, unbiased, and confidential health insurance counseling to people with Medicare coverage. These programs are independent of any insurance company and funded with federal monies. Visit Missouri SHIP or call 1-800-390-3330 for more information.
- The Missouri Connections for Health is a non-profit organization founded in 2001 that aids Missourians in accessing healthcare and benefits.
- The Missouri Department of Insurance provides free guidance regarding insurance via the information on their website as well as agents and navigators who can provide local help. They have an insurance consumer hotline at 800-726-7390 for insurance questions or complaints.
Medicare Advantage plans in other states
What is Medicare Part B in Missouri?
Medicare Part B is considered part of “Original Medicare" and covers medical care like healthcare provider visits, home health services, outpatient services, and medical equipment. It does not cover services like vision, dental, or hearing exams. The monthly premium in 2023 for Medicare Part B is $164.90 (unless your annual income exceeds $194k.)
Does Missouri have expanded Medicaid?
Yes, Missouri voted in 2020 to have expanded Medicaid, which broadened insurance options for those aged 19 to 64, which could provide assistance to an estimated 275,000 people who could qualify.
What age is Medicare in Missouri?
To be eligible for Medicare in Missouri, you must be 65. Some exceptions apply, such as those who qualify based on disability, end-stage renal disease, or ALS. In addition to being 65, you (or your spouse) must have worked for at least 10 years while paying Social Security and Medicare taxes.