Humana offers the best cheap Medicare Advantage plans in Maine. It has a strong customer service reputation, and it offers the most $0-per-month Medicare Advantage plans of any company in the state.
You should consider AARP/UnitedHealthcare if extra benefits like dental and vision coverage are important to you. Martin's Point Generations Advantage has the best plans in terms of overall quality, although these plans cost more than the competition.
Compare Medicare Advantage plans in Maine
Humana is the best overall Medicare Advantage provider in Maine because it has good service and low prices. You should consider a Martin's Point Generations Advantage plan if you want the best coverage and you don't mind paying more.
There are just six Medicare Advantage companies in Maine. That should make it easier to compare policies and prices.
Maine Medicare Advantage companies monthly rates
Ratings are out of 5 and based on national customer satisfaction data taken from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Costs are based on an average of all Medicare Advantage plans offered in Maine.
Factors to consider
- Monthly rates: How much you pay each month for coverage.
- Deductibles: How much you fully pay before some kinds of coverage start.
- Out-of-pocket max: The most you'll pay for health care (not counting your monthly rates) in a single year.
- CMS ratings: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rates each Medicare Advantage plan for overall quality on a scale of one to five, with five signaling excellence.
- Customer service: The number of customer complaints Medicare Advantage providers receive compared to their size.
- Bonus benefits: Many Medicare Advantage companies offer extra benefits like wellness programs and vision and dental coverage.
All Medicare Advantage plans are required by law to provide at least the same coverage as Original Medicare (Parts A and B). Many plans also offer prescription drug coverage (Medicare Part D).
As you compare plans, keep in mind that cheap Medicare Advantage plans often have hidden costs. For example, a $0-per-month plan may have a high deductible, or you may receive poor customer service. Zero-dollar plans may also have fewer added benefits, such as prescription drug coverage or vision insurance, compared to higher-priced plans.
When shopping for a Medicare Advantage plan, you may have to choose between an HMO and a PPO. Health maintenance organizations (HMOs) usually charge less per month. However, they restrict you to a network of doctors. Under the HMO model, you have to see your main doctor, also called a primary care physician, before you can see a specialist. Preferred provider organizations (PPOs) tend to have higher prices, but they let you see doctors outside of your network.
Best for cheap plans: Humana
- Average monthly cost: $9
Humana Health Insurance charges an average of $9 per month for its Medicare Advantage plans. That's 40% below the Maine state average.
Humana also offers the most $0-per-month Medicare Advantage plans of any provider in Maine.
Despite its low prices, Humana ranks well for customer service and plan quality. It has an average CMS rating of 4.3 out of 5. These ratings look at factors like what your plan covers and customer and health care provider satisfaction.
Humana scored second in J.D. Power's 2022 Medicare Advantage customer satisfaction survey, the highest of any Medicare Advantage provider in Maine.
Humana receives 35% fewer customer complaints compared to the average insurance company when adjusted for size according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), an industry body.
Best for extra benefits: AARP/UnitedHealthcare
- Average monthly cost: $18
AARP/UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans offer a range of extra benefits, such as bundled vision, hearing, dental and wellness programs.
Some plans will pay for some travel to and from medical appointments.
Some AARP/UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans cover meals after a hospital visit with a $0 copay.
You must join AARP to buy an AARP/UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plan. However, membership costs just $16 a year. As a member, you gain access to a number of benefits including discounts on travel, shopping, auto insurance and more.
AARP/UnitedHealthcare receives just half as many customer complaints as a similar-sized insurance company. It scored in the top half of J.D. Power's 2022 Medicare Advantage customer satisfaction survey, and it has an average CMS rating of 4.4 out of 5, the second highest in Maine.
AARP/UnitedHealthcare is just one of two companies in Maine to offer a five-star Medicare Advantage plan.
With an average monthly cost of $18, AARP/UnitedHealthcare charges slightly higher rates than the typical Maine Medicare Advantage provider. You should consider AARP/UnitedHealthcare if customer service and greater coverage matter to you more than paying the cheapest price.
Best for plan quality: Martin's Point Generations Advantage
Martin's Point Generations Advantage has an average rating of 4.8 out of 5, and it's just one of two providers to offer a five-star plan.
If you live in a place where Martin's Point sells its five-star plans, you can switch over from your existing Medicare Advantage plan at any time of the year through a five-star special enrollment period.
Under normal circumstances, you can only switch plans from Jan. 1 through March 31.
Martin's Point is the only Medicare Advantage provider in Maine to offer a five-star Special Needs Plan (SNP). These plans are tailored to individuals with specific conditions, such as congestive heart failure or chronic pain syndrome. Some plans are designed for people who are enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid.
The average price for a Martin's Point plan is $37 per month, which is more than twice the state average. However, Martin's Point might be worth it if service and plan quality are your top priorities.
How to apply for Medicare in Maine
Most people are automatically enrolled in Medicare once they turn 65 and start receiving Social Security payments.
If you've chosen to delay receiving Social Security benefits, you'll need to enroll in Medicare online through the Social Security website or over the phone at 800-772-1213 (TTY 800-325-0778). To determine if you can enroll, first you should confirm that you're eligible for Medicare.
You must be age 65 or older to apply for Medicare in Maine, or you must have a qualifying disease or medical condition, such as kidney failure (end-stage renal disease or ESRD) or Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS).
To avoid paying a late enrollment fee, you should enroll in Medicare during the three months before or after your 65th birthday, also known as your initial enrollment period. You can delay enrollment without paying a fee if you have group health coverage through your work or a spouse.
If you have a qualifying disability, you typically have to wait two years after you start receiving disability benefits to receive Medicare. However, Medicare coverage starts immediately if you have kidney failure or ALS.
Before you get started, prepare the necessary documents for a smooth application process. These include your birth certificate, Social Security card, current health insurance information and proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a passport.
If you're still working, you may need a W-2 form. Veterans who served before 1968 will need their discharge papers before applying.
Frequently asked questions
What are the best Medicare Advantage plans in Maine?
Humana sells the best cheap Medicare Advantage plans in Maine. AARP/UnitedHealthcare and Martin's Point Generations Advantage offer the highest quality plans, but they charge more expensive rates.
If you live in a part of Maine where Martin's Advantage or AARP/UnitedHealthcare sells five-star plans, you can switch from your existing coverage to a five-star plan at any point in the year through a five-star special enrollment period.
What are the pitfalls of a Medicare Advantage plan?
Most Medicare Advantage plans restrict your access to medical care to in-network providers or require you to pay more for care outside of your network. Original Medicare lets you visit any doctor in the country that accepts Medicare.
Is Medicare the same as MaineCare?
No, MaineCare is the name used for Maine's Medicaid program. Medicaid is government health insurance for individuals with low incomes, while Medicare offers coverage to people age 65 and up, and some people under 65 with certain diseases or disabilities. You can enroll in Medicare and MaineCare if you meet the eligibility requirements for both programs.
Sources and methodology
Information from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) was used to determine quality and average cost. Additional customer satisfaction data was taken from J.D. Power and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).