Find Cheap Medicare Plans in Your Area
PrimeTime Health Plan and UPMC have the best Medicare Advantage plans in Ohio.
Cigna and Devoted Health have good, cheap plans. Those looking for a plan that balances cost and quality should consider Anthem and Aetna, the two most popular providers in Ohio.
Medicare Advantage plans cost an average of $47 per month in Ohio. That's considerably more than the nationwide average of $33 per month. However, those looking for cheap coverage will find that there are $0 Medicare Advantage plans offered everywhere in the state.
How we chose the best Medicare plans: Our recommendations for Medicare Advantage plans in Ohio are based on comparisons of average costs and quality ratings. When there was a tie, we looked at a plan's benefits, deductibles and copayments.
List of Medicare Advantage plans in Ohio
In Ohio, Medicare Advantage plans are offered by 18 insurance companies.
Cigna is the only insurer in Ohio to have a rating above 4.0 and only sell free Medicare Advantage plans, making it a top option for low-cost coverage that's also reasonably good quality. Other providers like PrimeTime Health Plan and UPMC have the best possible rating of 5 stars, but their prices are higher.
|Buckeye Health Plan||3.6||$0|
|Health Alliance Medicare||4.0||$26|
|Paramount Elite Medicare Plans||4.0||$29|
|Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield||4.0||$39|
|PrimeTime Health Plan||5.0||$43|
Average cost is based on Medicare Advantage plans offered in Ohio, while star ratings represent the national average for each company. When a company's star rating is not available, its parent company's rating is displayed.
Find Cheap Medicare Plans in Your Area
Insurer availability changes by county, so residents won't have access to all companies. On average, Ohio residents will have 44 Medicare Advantage plans to choose from, and plans that cost $0 are offered in every county, giving all residents options for cheap coverage.
Top-ranked Medicare Advantage plans in Ohio
PrimeTime Health Plan and UPMC for Life have the highest-rated Medicare Advantage plans in Ohio, with 5 stars from Medicare.
These Medicare star ratings are based on each of the company's performance when it comes to medical and prescription drug benefits. Earning the highest overall average means that the companies generally provide good customer service, access to essential medical care, affordable prescriptions and more.
Plans that have 5 stars are good quality, but they can have different levels of coverage. This means it's still important to check that the deductibles, copayments and prescription benefits are a good match for your health care needs.
PrimeTime Health Plan
- 5.0 stars
- Average cost: $43 per month
PrimeTime Health Plan offers 5-star Medicare Advantage plans with a $0 medical deductible, giving you the full health benefits of the plan right away. Plans also include free preventive dental care, free eyeglasses and fitness benefits.
In most cases, your health care coverage is limited to in-network providers because all plans are HMO-POS, but these plans have more flexibility than a traditional HMO because you can go out of network in some circumstances.
In Ohio, PrimeTime offers three top-rated Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug benefits — each with a different tier of monthly costs.
The cheapest plan is the PrimeTime Health Plan Aultimate, which costs $0 per month. The price is low, but compared to the company's other options, you'll pay more out of pocket for medical care and prescriptions. This makes the plan a good fit for those who are reasonably healthy and would rather keep their monthly bills low while paying a little more for doctor appointments.
The mid-tier plan is the PrimeTime Health Plan Classic and costs $39 per month. This plan has moderate monthly costs and improved benefits. By paying more each month, you'll have lower copayments for medical care. For example, a diagnostic test costs $80 with the Classic plan and $100 with the Aultimate plan. The savings can add up, and this plan will generally be a good deal for those with typical medical needs.
The most expensive plan PrimeTime offers is the PrimeTime Health Plan Plus, which costs $89 per month. It offers the best benefits for medical care. For example, with this plan, the cost of a diagnostic test drops down to $60. It also has the lowest out-of-pocket maximum, at $3,900, which is $600 lower than PrimeTime's cheapest plan. This more expensive plan is worth it for those who expect their medical spending to reach this max of $3,900. For others, the potential savings on medical care are probably not high enough to make the extra cost worth it.
UPMC for Life
- 5.0 stars
- Average cost: $111 per month
The insurance division of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center offers Medicare Advantage plans in Harrison and Jefferson counties, near the Pennsylvania state line. But for those who have access, the 5-star plans sold under the name UPMC for Life provide a great, high-quality option.
The company offers four Medicare Advantage plans that include prescription drug coverage. The cheapest plan starts at just $22 per month, while others can cost up to $302 per month.
All of the plans are HMOs, which means you'll usually need to stay in the network in order to have coverage, but the UPMC network does include Ohio providers, so you won't have to drive to Pittsburgh to get health care. However, the size of the network may be smaller than what's available from some of the larger insurance companies, so be sure to check that you'll have access to the doctors you prefer.
We recommend UPMC for Life HMO Deductible Rx, which costs $22 per month. This plan includes hearing aids and dental coverage, and it has a $750 medical deductible, a $0 drug deductible and moderate copays with $65 urgent care appointments and $35 specialist visits.
The downside of this plan is the out-of-pocket maximum of $7,550. This high cap on out-of-pocket spending means you could have expensive medical bills if you need an expensive procedure like surgery.
In general, as the monthly cost of UPMC plans increases, the copayments for medical care will slightly decrease. However, all plans have a high cap on your medical spending. If you expect to need significant amounts of medical care, you'll likely get a better deal through a different insurance company.
Best cheap Medicare Advantage in Ohio
In Ohio, Cigna and Devoted Health both stand out for having a good combination of cheap overall prices and above-average ratings. Their Medicare Advantage plans cost an average of $0 to $10 per month, and the companies have average star ratings of 4.2 to 4.5 out of 5.
Comparatively, other cheap providers like Molina, Wellcare and Buckeye Health Plan have low average costs, but they also have lower ratings.
In Ohio, Cigna has the best deal on cheap Medicare Advantage plans. Cigna also stands out nationwide as offering some of the cheapest Medicare Advantage plans in the country.
Plans are generally well rated. However, customers are unhappy with Cigna's customer service, so interacting with the company could be frustrating.
Cigna offers two Medicare Advantage plans in Ohio: Cigna Preferred Medicare (HMO) and Cigna True Choice Medicare (PPO). Both plans cost $0 per month and have $0 medical and drug deductibles, which is excellent coverage at a low cost.
Because there's no deductible, you'll get the full benefits of the plan starting on day one, without having to first pay for some of your care out of pocket. The cost of medical care is also well-priced with free visits to your primary doctor, $30 specialist appointments and coverage for dental care.
The main difference between the two options comes from the plan type, HMO or PPO, which is a trade-off between flexibility and medical benefits. Specifically, the out-of-pocket maximum is the most significant benefits difference, with a high or low cap on the total amount you spend on covered medical care each year.
The PPO plan gives you coverage for out-of-network care. This gives you more flexibility over which doctors you see. However, you'll have to pay more when you get care outside of the network, and the plan's in-network benefits are not as good.
In contrast, Cigna's HMO plan in Ohio does not cover out-of-network care, which means you'll have less flexibility. However, it has a better limit to your medical expenses. This means those who have expensive medical needs will pay less for medical care before the plan will pay 100% of their expenses.
- 4.5 stars
- Average cost: $10 per month
Devoted Health offers three Medicare Advantage plans in Ohio: Saver, at $0 per month, Core, at $0 per month and Prime, at $31 per month. All three plans are a good deal for cost and coverage, and they're all HMOs, so it's important to check that your preferred doctors are in the plan's network.
Plus, the plans give you access to rewards like $20 back for an annual checkup and an over-the-counter credit that can be used to purchase items like vitamins or toothpaste.
Devoted Health Saver is the cheapest plan. It costs $0 per month, and the plan has a giveback program where you'll save $85 per month on your Original Medicare costs. Benefits include free primary care visits, $50 urgent care visits and free preventive dental. The downside of this plan is the high out-of-pocket maximum of $5,900, meaning you could face large medical bills if you have an injury or need extensive medical care.
The Devoted Health Core plan also costs $0 per month. It does not have the giveback program, but the better coverage may be worth it for many people who need moderate amounts of health care. The plan has a $0 drug deductible, lower copayments and more add-ons such as $3,000 toward comprehensive dental care. The plan's out-of-pocket maximum is $4,200, providing a lower limit to protect you from very high medical costs.
The most expensive plan is the Devoted Health Prime, which costs $31 per month. This plan stands out for having much lower copays on some of the most expensive medical treatments. For example, inpatient hospital care starts at $295 per day with the Prime plan and starts at $450 per day with the Saver plan. This makes the Prime plan the best choice for those who expect to need surgery or other expensive medical procedures.
Most popular Medicare Advantage plans in Ohio
Anthem and Aetna are the two most popular Medicare Advantage providers in Ohio. This is, in part, because of their wide availability. Both companies offer plans in every county in the state. Also, these large companies offer a range of different plans, are familiar companies and have a wide network of providers that go beyond Ohio.
Anthem, an affiliate of Blue Cross Blue Shield, is one of the largest insurance companies and therefore has one of the largest networks of doctors and medical providers. The network will change based on the plan, but even HMO policies could give you access to thousands of doctors, hospitals and medical facilities.
With a rating of 4 out of 5 stars from Medicare policyholders, the company's overall performance is not as strong as some of the top-ranking insurers in Ohio. However, the wide network and the variety of plans make this a good middle-of-the-road insurance option in Ohio.
The Anthem MediBlue Preferred HMO plan is one of the best deals in the state. It costs $0 per month and has a $0 medical deductible, a $0 prescription drug deductible and a $4,200 out-of-pocket maximum. The copayments for medical care are moderately priced with free primary doctor visits and preventive care, $30 urgent care visits, inpatient hospital care starting at $310, coverage for hearing aids and dental and $0 copays for the first 20 days at a skilled nursing facility.
The plans that Anthem offers don't necessarily have the same structure of providing better medical benefits in exchange for higher premiums. For example, paying $22 per month for the Anthem MediBlue Extra HMO plan means that your prescription drug deductible will increase to $480, and your out-of-pocket maximum for medical care will increase to $7,550.
While the MediBlue Preferred plan is an overall great deal, carefully review the benefits of Anthem's other plans to avoid paying more for less coverage.
Aetna offers a wide variety of Medicare Advantage plans in Ohio, including seven different options that cost $0 per month. The two most common plans are the Aetna Medicare Premier (HMO-POS) and the Aetna Medicare Value Plan (PPO).
The tradeoff between these plans is that the PPO plan offers more flexibility for out-of-network care, and the HMO-POS plan offers better medical benefits.
The Aetna Medicare Premier (HMO-POS) plan costs $0 per month with a $0 medical deductible, a $0 prescription drug deductible and an out-of-pocket maximum of $4,900. On the other hand, the Aetna Medicare Value Plan (PPO) also costs $0 per month, but it has a $750 medical deductible, a $150 drug deductible, an in-network maximum of $5,300 and an overall out-of-pocket maximum of $11,300.
The company's overall average cost is high because it also offers several expensive plans that range from $127 to $173 per month. These expensive plans are mostly regional PPO plans, which have a wide network of doctors throughout the region while still covering out-of-network care for those who are willing to pay more.
Medicare eligibility in Ohio and how to enroll
- Eligibility and initial enrollment: In Ohio, as in the rest of the country, you become eligible for Medicare at age 65 or through a qualifying disability. In both cases, the first step to getting Medicare is to apply for benefits through the Social Security Administration. After this process, you'll get your Medicare card and your Medicare number.
- Two types of Medicare: Enrollees will have two options for coverage. A Medicare Advantage plan bundles your coverage for medical care and hospital care, and plans usually include prescription drug benefits and add-ons for fitness, dental and vision. Alternatively, enrollees can choose Original Medicare, which has Medicare Part A for hospital coverage and Part B for medical coverage. You can enroll in a separate Medicare Part D plan for prescription drug coverage and a Medicare Supplement plan to reduce how much you pay for medical services.
- Comparing costs: A Medicare Advantage plan in Ohio can cost as little as $0 per month or as much as $302 per month. To choose the best plan, balance the monthly cost of the plan with its medical benefits. Use the Medicare Plan Finder tool or request Medicare quotes to review the cost of plans offered in your county.
- How to apply for Medicare: You can complete your Medicare Advantage application directly with an insurance company or through the government's portal at Medicare.gov. During the application, you'll need to enter the number from your Medicare card to show that you're eligible. You cannot be denied coverage if you apply for Medicare during open enrollment, your initial enrollment period or a special enrollment period.
- How to sign up for Medicare Advantage: Your Medicare application will walk you through each step to help you enroll in a Medicare plan. If you need more help, the Ohio Department of Insurance offers free assistance and information to help you get the coverage you need.
Ohio Medicare enrollment statistics
Medicare enrollees in Ohio: 2.4 million
Number of Medicare providers operating in Ohio: 18
Average monthly cost in Ohio:
- Medicare Advantage: $47
- Medicare Part D: $45
Medicare Advantage enrollment (enrollment as a percentage of all Medicare beneficiaries)
- National average: 42%
- Ohio: 45%
- Stark County: 58%
- Summit County: 54%
- Montgomery County: 51%
- Cuyahoga County: 46%
- Franklin County: 46%
- Butler County: 45%
- Athens County: 37%
- Mercer County: 27%
Frequently asked questions
Is Medicare Advantage available in Ohio?
Yes, Medicare Advantage plans (also called Medicare Part C plans) are available throughout Ohio and cost an average of $47 per month. There are also $0-per-month plans offered throughout the state.
Is Medicare free in Ohio?
All Ohio residents have access to $0 Medicare Part C plans, and Medicare Part A is usually free because you paid into the program with a payroll tax. However, most people will still have to pay for Medicare Part B, which costs $164.90 per month in 2023.
What is the best Medicare Advantage plan in Ohio?
PrimeTime Health Plan and UPMC have the best-rated Medicare Advantage plans in Ohio, each earning 5 stars. But their plans are not available everywhere in the state. If you don't have access, we recommend the Anthem MediBlue Preferred HMO plan, which is a popular option that costs $0 per month and has 4.0 stars.
What is the most accepted Ohio Medicare Advantage plan?
The insurance company with the largest network of providers in Ohio is Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. However, a provider's network can change between plans, so always review the specifics when enrolling. Those who want the broadest possible access should choose a PPO plan, which will provide out-of-network coverage.
What is the income limit for Medicare in Ohio?
Medicare eligibility is not determined by income. Instead, you qualify for Medicare when you turn 65 or through a disability or medical condition. You can be dual-enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid, which has an income limit of approximately $19,000 for an individual or $38,000 for a family of four.
Methodology and sources
Medicare plan data was sourced from the 2022 public use files from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
The analysis of Medicare Advantage plans in Ohio excluded plans that do not include prescription drug coverage, employer group plans and special needs plans (SNPs). Plans were compared by cost, coverage and quality. When calculating averages, we combined affiliated companies.