Best Cheap Medicare Plans in New York

Best Cheap Medicare Plans in New York

Find Cheap Medicare Plans in Your Area

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Humana has the best overall Medicare Advantage plans in New York. The plans are well-rated and cost an average of $9 per month, which is much cheaper than the average cost in New York of $44 per month.

Aetna offers the best cheap Medicare Part D plan in New York. The prescription plans have good coverage, and there are options starting as low as $7 per month, which is a big savings compared to the average cost of $52 per month for Part D in New York.

How we chose the best Medicare plans

Our data-backed research on Medicare plans compares costs, quality ratings and coverage for providers that offer plans in at least 10 New York counties. When there was a tie, we looked at other plan features such as add-ons or deductibles.

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Best New York Medicare Advantage plans

Humana Medicare Advantage plans are the best in New York, with a relatively high star rating of 4 out of 5 stars. They have a low average cost of just $9 per month, making them a good option for most people in New York.

While there are many factors to consider when choosing the best Medicare Advantage plan, comparing plans by cost and quality rating is an important first step in understanding if a plan is a good value. Availability of plans varies, and on average, shoppers can choose from 34 plans.

These bundled plans, also called Medicare Part C, bring together coverage for medical care, hospitals and prescription drugs. Frequently, plans also include benefits for dental, vision and other add-ons.

Company
Rating
Monthly cost
Humana (best cheap plans)4.0$9
Fidelis Care3.5$9
Aetna/CVS3.9$14
UnitedHealthcare AARP (best middle-of-the-road plans)4.2$43
Wellcare3.5$43
CDPHP (top-rated plans)5.0$44
Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield3.0$44
Excellus Health Plan4.5$61
Highmark4.9$71
MVP Health Care4.5$76
EmblemHealth3.3$89

Costs are the average of Medicare Advantage plans offered in New York, and ratings are based on a 5-point scale using the national average for Medicare Advantage plans on Medicare.gov.

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(top-rated plans)\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E5.0\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E$44\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003EEmpire Blue Cross Blue Shield\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E3.0\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E$44\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003EExcellus Health Plan\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E4.5\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E$61\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003EHighmark\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E4.9\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E$71\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003EMVP Health Care\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E4.5\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E$76\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee 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Best cheap Medicare Advantage in New York

Humana
  • Average cost: $9 per month
  • Star rating: 4.0

Read our full review

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Humana's Medicare Advantage plans are a good value with cheap rates and comprehensive coverage for an average of $9 per month.

Plans provide good overall coverage including a full range of benefits for medical care, diagnostic tests, skilled nursing, surgery, mental health, diabetes care, opioid treatment and more. Plans also usually include a wide range of add-on benefits such as vision, dental, hearing care and SilverSneakers. Plus, it's widely available with Humana, offering plans in 50 of New York’s 62 counties.

It's important to note, however, that Humana has mixed reviews about its customer experience. In J.D. Power's annual survey, policyholders say they're very satisfied with Humana's Medicare Advantage plans. On the other hand, the company has slightly more complaints than is typical for an insurer of its size according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

Humana's plans in New York usually fall into three category names.

  • We recommend the Humana Gold Plus HMO plans, which are the best value, balancing cost and coverage. Keep in mind though that this option will have the standard limitations of an HMO plan including only covering in-network care and requiring a referral before going to a specialist.

  • Another option is the HumanaChoice PPO plan, which offers more flexibility, but the coverage may not be as strong as with the HMO plan. In general, PPO plans are usually more expensive, but in the sample plans we reviewed, it appears that Humana keeps its PPO plans priced low by cutting back on specialty services like hearing aids or by having a higher out-of-pocket maximum. However, for those who are willing to make the trade-off between coverage and flexibility, Humana's PPO plans are still a good choice.

  • The Humana Honor plans don't cover prescription drugs, so they're not a good choice for most enrollees.

Top-rated Medicare Advantage in New York

Capital District Physicians' Health Plan (CDPHP)
  • Average cost: $44 per month
  • Star rating: 5.0
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CDPHP’s 5-star Medicare Advantage plans stand out for high-quality coverage at a moderate cost. Offering plans in the eastern half of upstate New York, CDPHP is a great choice for those living in its service area.

A 5-star (excellent) rating on Medicare.gov is not common, and only 16% of all nationwide Medicare Advantage contracts have achieved this. Plus, CDPHP's high performance on Medicare.gov is not a fluke, and it stands out for other performance metrics.

For example, the company receives 71% fewer complaints than is typical for its size, according to the complaint index from the NAIC. Comparatively, CDPHP has a far better rating than Humana.

The downside of a smaller insurance company like CDPHP is that it has fewer medical providers in its network and has regional limitations. For example, CDPHP's provider network is strongest in the Capital Region around Albany. We recommend that you check CDPHP's network in your area to make sure you’ll have access to the health care providers and specialists you need. This limitation is an especially important consideration for frequent travelers.

For those who want a top-ranking plan but with a wider network of medical providers, consider a Medicare Advantage plan from Highmark, which also has a high rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars. Highmark's plans are more expensive, averaging $71 per month in New York. However, Highmark is a part of Blue Cross Blue Shield, and this affiliation could give you access to a broader national network.

CDPHP offers six different Medicare Advantage plans that include prescription drug coverage. All plans provide free preventive care, free visits to your primary care physician, similar copayments for specialist care and benefits for vision, dental, hearing, SilverSneakers and Weight Watchers.

There are two main differences between CDPHP's cheap and expensive plans:

  • Prescription drug deductible

    The cheapest options (CDPHP $0 Medicare Rx HMO and CDPHP Vital Rx PPO) both have a prescription drug deductible. In contrast, the more expensive Medicare Advantage plans provide the full prescription drug benefits immediately when your plan begins because of its $0 drug deductible.

    For those with moderate to high prescription drug needs, it's usually more cost-effective to pay for a plan that has better drug benefits.

  • Amount you pay for hospitalization

    Another major difference between plans is what you'll pay for major health services such as hospitalization or outpatient procedures. For example, those with a plan that cost $0 per month could spend $100 more per day for inpatient hospitalization than those with one of CDPHP's more expensive plans.

    For those who expect to need surgery, it would be worth it to sign up for the more expensive plan because a week-long stay at the hospital could add up to a $700 higher bill. However, the monthly cost savings of a cheap plan could be worth it for those who don't expect to need this benefit.

If a 5-star Medicare Advantage plan, like one from CDPHP, is available in your area, you can use a 5-star special enrollment period to switch to that plan, even if it’s not open enrollment.
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Best middle-of-the-road Medicare Advantage plan in New York

UnitedHealthcare/AARP
  • Average cost: $43 per month
  • Star rating: 4.2

Read our full review

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Medicare Advantage plans from AARP/UnitedHealthcare are a good choice because the plans provide good coverage at a reasonable price.

These plans are not as cheap as Humana's plans, and they're not as highly rated as plans from CDPHP or Highmark. However, the middle-of-the-road approach can be ideal for those who want to balance benefits, quality and cost. That's why AARP is the most popular Medicare Advantage plan in the country and has considerable popularity in the New York City metro area and in the Hudson Valley.

AARP Medicare Advantage plans are offered through UnitedHealthcare, which has an average performance of 4.2 out of 5 stars.

AARP plans cost an average of $43 per month in New York. However, residents of each New York county have a range of plans to choose from including cheap options that cost only $0 or $16 per month.

All AARP plans provide a strong set of add-on benefits that help contribute to overall wellness while also reducing out-of-pocket costs, including benefits for dental care, vision, mental health, fitness and more. Plus, all plans offer Tier 1 drugs without needing to meet a deductible and provide prescription drug coverage during the gap, also called the donut hole.

The downside of these plans is that the customer experience tends to be worse than average. UnitedHealthcare has 22% more complaints than is typical for an insurer or its size. It is also in the bottom third of J.D. Power's survey of Medicare Advantage customer satisfaction.

Most popular Medicare Advantage plan in each New York county

If you’re struggling to choose the best Medicare Advantage plan, a good starting point can be the most popular plan where you live. The plan's high enrollment rate can be an advantage for local access to the best or broadest selection of doctors and medical providers. That's because health care providers are more likely to accept the insurance plans that are popular in their area.

County
Plan name
AlbanyWellCare Absolute (PPO)
AlleganyWellCare Today's Options Advantage Plus 550B (PPO)
BronxEmblemHealth VIP Essential (HMO)
BroomeExcellus Medicare BlueEssential (PPO)
CattaraugusWellCare Absolute (PPO)
Show All Rows

How to choose the best Medicare Advantage plan in New York

A Medicare Advantage plan in New York can cost anywhere from $0 to $261 per month. With varying benefits and plan features, there can be a lot to consider, and the New York Office for the Aging offers free telephone assistance for those who have questions about Medicare.

However, getting started is easier than you may realize. Ask yourself these three questions when choosing the best Medicare Advantage plan for you.

  1. What plans are available?

    Medicare Advantage plans change each year. Different options could be added, and even plans with the same name could offer different benefits. This makes it important to review your options each year. To get started, request quotes for your ZIP code to discover what providers and plans are being offered.

  2. How much will the plan cost?

    Medicare Advantage costs an average of $44 per month in New York. However, your total cost of Medicare Advantage is on top of what you pay for Medicare Part B, which is currently $164.90 per month.

    Many plans are available for $0, and choosing one of these plans is a great way to keep your monthly costs low while still getting access to benefits for medical care, prescription drugs, dental care and more. However, the cheapest plan is not always the right choice for everyone. In general, if you expect to need more medical care, you could save money overall by choosing an expensive plan with better benefits.

  3. How does coverage compare?

    While all Medicare Advantage plans must cover the same set of services as Original Medicare, the level of benefits will vary. For example, you may find that some plans offer free preventive care, and others could have better coverage for surgery.

    We recommend that you look closely at the coverage for the health services you expect to need such as cardiology, joint replacement surgery or diabetes treatment, and then choose the plan that offers the best level of coverage for the care you need. Also, compare coverage based on the medications you currently take.

Medicare Part D plans in New York

In New York, the best company for cheap Medicare Part D plans is Aetna, which has options that start at $7 per month. Those who take expensive medications may get the best deal with a no-deductible plan from Wellcare. And for a plan with good ratings, we recommend Humana, which has had strong performance across several metrics.

Company
Star rating
Cost
Aetna SilverScript (best cheap plan)4.0$7-$77
Wellcare (cheapest no-deductible plan)3.8$13-$69
Humana (best-rated plans)4.2$25-$85
UnitedHealthcare AARP4.2$34-$101
Cigna4.0$41-$69
Elixir Insurance (Rite Aid)3.0$45-$52
Blue Cross Blue Shield (Empire, Excellus)4.0$60-$83

Data shows the range of costs for a Medicare Part D plan in New York and the company's average nationwide star rating for Medicare Part D plans on Medicare.gov.

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rating\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003Cth colSpan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd frWuiR\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r glLrYA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003ECost\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003C\/thead\u003E\u003Ctbody class=\"StyledBody-sc-14y8oc0 dcdMVT\"\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Aetna SilverScript (best cheap plan)\" href=\"#affordable\"\u003EAetna SilverScript (best cheap plan)\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E4.0\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E$7-$77\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" 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colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E$25-$85\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003EUnitedHealthcare AARP\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E4.2\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E$34-$101\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee XfhRD\"\u003ECigna\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E4.0\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee frAYUA\"\u003E$41-$69\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee 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Best cheap Medicare Part D in New York

Aetna SilverScript SmartRx
  • Low cost of $7 per month
  • Higher deductible of $480
  • Tier 1 drugs are not subject to the deductible

Read our full review

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Aetna's SilverScript SmartRx prescription drug plan is an affordable choice for New York residents, offering moderate coverage and ratings. The plan is best for those who take generic medications, which are drugs classified as Tier 1 or 2. However, those who need brand-name or specialty medications will probably get a better deal with another plan that has stronger benefits for Tier 3 drugs or higher.

For those taking Tier 1 or 2 medications, the copayments per prescription are very low when using a preferred pharmacy. Plus, Tier 1 drugs are not subject to a deductible, meaning that you'll get the plan's benefits for that tier right away without first needing to pay for prescriptions out of pocket.

While SilverScript SmartRx does provide coverage for all tiers of medication, the high copayments for Tier 3 and above mean that you'll spend a lot when you go to the pharmacy if you need these medications. The plan also doesn't have coverage in the gap. This means those who spend more than $4,660 on covered drugs will have to pay up to 25% of the full price of brand-name prescription drugs after that.

Cheapest no-deductible Medicare Part D in New York

Wellcare Medicare Rx Value Plus
  • Cost: $69 per month
  • A good choice for those with significant medication needs

Read our full review

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Wellcare Medicare Rx Value Plus is the lowest-priced no-deductible plan in New York, at $69 per month. No-deductible plans from other providers cost $77 to $101 per month.

For those who expect to have expensive medication costs during the policy year, a no-deductible plan may be the most cost-effective choice because the full prescription benefits begin right away. While other cheaper plans may have no deductible for generic drugs, this $0 deductible applies to all drug tiers, helping you avoid having to buy medications out of pocket until your spending reaches the deductible.

Wellcare's prescription drug plans are reasonably well-rated at 3.8 out of 5 stars, the range where many prescription drug plans fall. This plan also has gap coverage, an important benefit for those who expect to have high medication costs during the policy year.

You can spend less on medications by using one of Wellcare's preferred pharmacies, which include Walgreens, CVS and most grocery chains. For medications you regularly take, you can also save by using the CVS/Caremark mail-service pharmacy, which offers preferred pricing for a three-month supply.

Best-rated Medicare Part D in New York

Humana
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars on Medicare.gov
  • Best customer satisfaction for mail order prescriptions

Read our full review

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Humana has the best Medicare Part D plans in New York because of its combination of high ratings and affordable monthly costs.

The company offers three Medicare Part D prescription drug plans in New York with costs ranging from $25 to $85 per month. This provides options for those who have high or low medication needs.

In general, you can expect to pay a little more for a Humana plan than for a similar level of coverage with a different company. However, the company's nationwide ranking of 4.2 out of 5 stars stands out, showing that *it has satisfied customers, provides good access to prescriptions and has few complaints.**

Even though Humana's national prescription drug plan rating is tied with AARP/UnitedHealthcare, Humana also has good customer satisfaction for mail order prescription drugs. For those with ongoing prescriptions, hassle-free mail-order delivery can be a valuable advantage.


New York Medicare enrollment statistics

Medicare enrollees in New York: 3.7 million

Number of Medicare providers operating in New York: 22

Average monthly cost in New York:

  • Medicare Advantage: $44
  • Medicare Part D: $52

Medicare Advantage enrollment (enrollment as a percentage of all Medicare beneficiaries)

  • National average: 42%
  • New York state: 46%
  • Suffolk County: 24%
  • Westchester County: 32%
  • New York County: 42%
  • Kings County: 49%
  • Queens County: 52%
  • Erie County: 65%
  • Monroe County: 71%

Frequently asked questions

Is there Medicare in New York?

Yes, New Yorkers can qualify for Medicare when they're age 65 or through some medical conditions such as Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS). Enrollees can choose a Medicare Advantage plan, which provides bundled coverage through a private insurer. Alternatively, coverage with Original Medicare is administered by the federal government, and these enrollees have the option to add on a Medicare Part D plan for prescription drug coverage and a Medicare Supplement plan to reduce medical costs.

What's the best Medicare Advantage plan in New York?

CDPHP has the highest-rated Medicare Advantage plans in New York with 5 out of 5 stars and costing an average of $44 per month. We also recommend Humana Medicare Advantage for its cheap rates averaging $9 per month and its reasonable star rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

Does New York Medicare work out of state?

Usually, but it depends on the type of Medicare. Original Medicare and Medicare Supplement plans can be used at any medical provider in the country that accepts Medicare — that's about 99% of physicians who treat adults. With Medicare Advantage, access is based on each plan's network of medical providers, and the broadest access to care will be with a PPO plan.

How many New Yorkers choose Medicare Advantage?

About half of the Medicare enrollees in New York choose the bundled Medicare Advantage plans. The remainder of enrollees have coverage through Original Medicare (Parts A and B).


Methodology and sources

Medicare plan information is based on 2022 data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) public use files. Comparisons were made by cost, coverage and quality, as well as third-party data from J.D. Power and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

We looked at Medicare Advantage providers operating in at least 10 New York counties. This excluded companies like Oscar and Bright Health, which are each only available in three counties in the New York City metro area. Our analysis also excluded plans that do not include prescription drug coverage, employer group plans and special needs plans (SNPs). Our analysis of Medicare Part D plans also excluded employer and group plans that are not offered through Medicare.gov.

ValuePenguin.com is owned and operated by LendingTree, LLC ("LendingTree"). All rights reserved.

Invitations for application for insurance may be made through QW Insurance Solutions, LLC ("QWIS"), a subsidiary of QuoteWizard.com, LLC ("QuoteWizard"), a LendingTree subsidiary, or through its designated agents, only where licensed and appointed. Licensing information for QWIS can be found here. QWIS is a non-government licensed health insurance agency. Not affiliated with or endorsed by any government agency.

Callers to QWIS will be directed to a licensed and certified representative of Medicare Supplement insurance and/or Medicare Advantage HMO, HMO SNP, PPO, PPO SNP and PFFS organizations. Calls to QWIS will be routed to a licensed agent who can provide you with further information about the insurance plans offered by one or more third-party partners of QWIS. Each of the organizations they represent has a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any plan depends on contract renewal.

Availability of benefits and plans varies by carrier and location and may be limited to certain times of the year unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. QWIS does not offer every plan available in your area. Any information provided is limited to those plans offered in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.

Deductibles, copays, coinsurance, limitations, and exclusions may apply.

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed the information contained on this website.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.