Best Cheap Medicare Advantage Plans in Pennsylvania

Humana sells the best cheap Medicare Advantage plans in Pennsylvania.

If you're looking for a plan with no monthly rate, AARP/UnitedHealthcare (UHC) is the best option. Aetna is a good choice for a plan with extra perks, like a nurse line and home health visits.

In Pennsylvania, a Medicare Advantage plan costs $44 per month, on average. But everyone in the state has access to a plan with a $0 monthly rate, and many plans cost less than the $44 per month state average.

To find the best Medicare Advantage plans in PA, we reviewed cost, availability, benefits and quality of service. The analysis focuses on HMO and PPO plans that include prescription drug coverage.

To review plan quality, we used star ratings from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The ratings range from 0 to 5, with higher ratings given to better quality plans. CMS measures several areas of plan performance, including customer service, health care quality and access to care. When comparing Pennsylvania plan options, we focused on state-specific CMS star ratings rather than nationwide numbers.

Compare Medicare Advantage plans in Pennsylvania

Humana's Medicare Advantage plans are the best in Pennsylvania because of their affordability and high satisfaction ratings.

Humana, AARP/UnitedHealthcare and Aetna balance affordability with good service and benefits. While more highly-rated plans are available, they cost more than the state average of $44 per month.

A total of 79 Medicare Advantage plans are available from 14 different companies in the Keystone State, although availability varies by which county you live in. The best companies have broad availability, cheap rates, high star ratings and good benefits.

Company
Avg. monthly cost
% of PA Medicare population who can enroll
CMS star rating
Clover Health logo
Clover Health$018%
Devoted Health logo
Devoted Health$028%Not yet rated
Wellcare by Allwell  logo
Wellcare by Allwell$592%
WellCare  logo
Wellcare$1192%Not yet rated
UnitedHealthcare/AARP Medicare Advantage logo
UnitedHealthcare/AARP$1598%
Show All Rows

Cost is based on the state average for each plan. Star ratings represent the Pennsylvania average for each company. CMS ratings are not yet available for Devoted Health or Wellcare.

Wellcare by Allwell and Clover Health have the lowest customer satisfaction scores in Pennsylvania. Both companies have cheap rates, but if you're looking for good customer service and plan benefits, you might want to get quotes from other Medicare Advantage companies.

If you don't find a Medicare Advantage plan that meets your needs, you could consider keeping Original Medicare and supplementing it with a Medigap plan and a Medicare Part D plan. Medigap plans are also sold throughout Pennsylvania.

HMO vs. PPO plans

Most Medicare Advantage companies provide HMO and PPO options. It's helpful to understand the differences when shopping for a plan, so you can choose the best option for your needs.

  • HMO plans require you to have a primary care physician to coordinate your care. You also need a referral for specialty services. With an HMO, you have to use in-network health providers, except in emergencies. If you use an out-of-network doctor, you pay for the full cost of the visit. Because HMOs restrict your ability to get care to in-network offices, they tend to be cheaper.
  • PPO plans have plan networks of "preferred providers," but your insurance covers some of the cost for an out-of-network provider. You usually pay more for your health care and have a higher out-of-pocket maximum when you get care outside the PPO network, but you still have coverage. With a PPO, you don't need a referral from your primary care doctor to see a specialist. PPOs make getting care easier, but you pay more for the convenience.

Humana: best overall Medicare Advantage plans in PA

Humana's high rating from Medicare and cheap rates make it stand out among Pennsylvania Medicare Advantage companies.

Humana sells Medicare Advantage plans throughout Pennsylvania, so you'll have access to a plan no matter where you live. The coverage often includes helpful extras like coverage for vision, dental and hearing care. Some plans also give you an allowance of $250 or more to spend on covered vision, dental or hearing expenses.

  • Star rating

  • Monthly rate

    $29 ?

Why it's great

Humana plans are well-rated, affordable and available everywhere in the state.

HumanaChoice PPO plans provide a range of coverage levels, benefits and monthly rates, and they can be a good fit for many different needs. Average rates for HumanaChoice plans range from $0 to $123, with more expensive plans offering more benefits. The HumanaChoice 060 plan has a $0 monthly cost, no deductibles and a $0 copay for primary care visits. The plan has a $7,550 out-of-pocket maximum, though, which means you could pay at most $7,550 for your annual health care costs. The company's 120 plan costs $123 per month, but has a lower out-of-pocket maximum of $6,700. There is no deductible, but you pay a $5 copay when you visit your primary care doctor.

The Humana Honor with Rx plan is a good choice for veterans, although anyone can join the plan. These policies give veterans the ability to get care at civilian and Veterans Affairs (VA) locations, and have a $0 monthly cost. The Honor with Rx option also has a focus on mental health, with coverage for therapy and more intensive care.


AARP/UnitedHealthcare: best $0 Medicare Advantage plans in PA

In addition to low rates overall, AARP/UnitedHealthcare offers several $0 Pennsylvania Medicare Advantage plans.

Along with standard medical and hospital coverage, many AARP/UnitedHealthcare plans include benefits for vision, dental, hearing, fitness, meal delivery and foot care. Additionally, you do not have to be an AARP member to buy a Medicare Advantage plan from AARP/UnitedHealthcare.

  • Star rating

  • Monthly rate

    $15 ?

Why it's great

  • UnitedHealthcare offers $0 plans that include benefits for vision, dental and more.
  • It's available to 98% of PA Medicare enrollees and in 63 of 67 counties.

AARP/UnitedHealthcare's Medicare Advantage Flex Plan 1 is a good option if your health care needs are mostly routine. There's no monthly rate, no deductibles and no cost for primary care visits. You also get $50 each quarter for over-the-counter health purchases like vitamins and toothpaste. The plan is an HMO, though, so you have to use in-network doctors.

The AARP/UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Choice Plan 1 is a good option for those who want doctor flexibility or those who have more frequent health care needs. The PPO network lets you visit both in-network and out-of-network doctors, and the plan is still affordable, at an average monthly cost of $33. In-network primary care costs $0 per visit, and specialist visits have a $30 copay. If you use out-of-network primary care or specialist doctors, you pay 30% of the total cost of the visit. The plan also has a $0 copay for routine dental exams and $1,500 per year for covered dental services, such as root canals, bridges and dentures.


Aetna: best Pennsylvania Medicare Advantage plans for added benefits

Aetna offers impressive perks with its Medicare Advantage plans, including home visits and prescription delivery.

If you're willing to pay a bit more for coverage and want extra benefits, take a look at Aetna's Medicare Advantage plans. In addition to vision, dental and hearing benefits on most plans, the company offers a 24/7 nurse line, access to consultants to help manage your or a loved one's care and access to SilverSneakers. Aetna has a good Medicare star rating in Pennsylvania, and its average rate is below the state average.

  • Star rating

  • Monthly rate

    $35 ?

Why it's great

  • Aetna Medicare Advantage plans offer many perks, like a 24/7 nurse line.
  • It's available to 100% of PA Medicare enrollees in all 67 counties.

Aetna's Medicare Value is a good option for those who want a $0 monthly rate with the convenience of a PPO network. With the Value plan, you pay no premium, no in-network medical deductible and no drug deductible. Additionally, if you use a preferred pharmacy, you won't pay anything for generic drugs. The Value plan also includes $1,250 per ear each year for hearing aid coverage.

Aetna's Medicare Advantra Gold could be a good option if you are looking for extra vision coverage. The plan covers annual vision exams, and also offers free annual exams for those at high risk of glaucoma or diabetic eye disease. There's also a $0 copay for most types of eyewear, including glasses and contacts. The plan costs $35 per month, but it is an HMO, so you have to stay within the plan's network to get coverage. You pay $0 per visit to your primary care doctor, but you need a referral to see a specialist and you have to pay a $30 copay.


Best-rated Medicare Advantage plans in Pennsylvania

UPMC for Life and Highmark offer Medicare Advantage plans with the highest ratings in Pennsylvania, but the monthly rates are high.

UPMC for Life (Medicare)
  • Star rating

  • Monthly rate

    $73 ?

Why it's great

  • UPMC offers 5-star coverage averaging $74 a month.
  • It's available to 62% of PA Medicare enrollees and in 54 counties.

Patients on a budget who want drug coverage should look at the UPMC for Life Premier Rx plan. The plan is available as an HMO or PPO, and there's no monthly rate or deductible with either network type. Primary care visits are free, and specialists cost $30 per visit on the HMO and $35 on the PPO. Each plan also offers a yearly allowance to spend on over-the-counter health items. With the HMO, you get $500, while the PPO version gives you $300 per year.

UPMC for life might also be a good choice if you want to support a local business. The company only offers coverage in Pennsylvania and Ohio. It offers HMO and PPO plans, all of which have a 5-star rating.


  • Star rating

  • Monthly rate

    $100 ?

Why it's great

  • Highmark is part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield family of companies.
  • It's available to 72% of PA Medicare enrollees and in 62 of 67 counties.

If you think you may be hospitalized often or for long periods of time, the Highmark Complete Blue Signature PPO plan is a good option. The plan requires you to pay $150 per day if you're admitted to a hospital. Although that cost can add up if your hospital stay is lengthy, it is a lower rate than many other plans. If you need advanced imaging, like an MRI or CT scan, the copay is $195 for in-network services and $325 for out-of-network services. The Complete Blue Signature has a $0 monthly premium.

Highmark is based in Pittsburgh and is part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield family of companies. It could be a good option if you like working with a local company, but also want the stability of a well-known brand.


How do I choose a Medicare plan?

The best way to choose the right Medicare Advantage plan is to understand your health care needs. Different health insurance companies offer plans with different perks. Once you know what you want in a plan, you can search for one that is tailored to your health care needs.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when searching for your plan:

  • Do you need drug coverage?
  • Are your health care providers in the plan's network?
  • Do you need the freedom to work with any health care provider?
  • Do you have a chronic illness or a condition that needs intensive or long-term treatment?
  • What is your budget for health care costs, including monthly payments and out-of-pocket charges?
  • Are other members happy with the plan you're considering?

You have the chance to choose a Medicare plan when you first become eligible for Medicare and again each year during open enrollment. With the number of options available, it's a good idea to start your search early.

How many people are on Medicare in Pennsylvania?

Medicare-eligible residents in Pennsylvania: 2,874,224

Medicare Advantage enrollees in Pennsylvania: 1,462,649

Number of Medicare Advantage companies in Pennsylvania: 14

Average monthly cost of Medicare Advantage in Pennsylvania: $44

Medicare Advantage enrollment varies by county. In Pike County, outside Pittsburgh, for example, just under 26% of Medicare recipients are on Medicare Advantage plans, while in Armstrong County, the rate is almost 70%.


Frequently asked questions

Does Pennsylvania have Medicare Advantage?

Yes, Medicare Advantage plans are available throughout Pennsylvania. The average cost of Medicare Advantage plans in PA is $44 per month. At least one Medicare Advantage plan with a $0 monthly rate is offered in each Pennsylvania county.

What are the best-rated Medicare Advantage plans in Pennsylvania?

UPMC for Life and Highmark offer some of the top-rated Pennsylvania Medicare Advantage plans. Each company has an overall rating of 5, the highest rating awarded by Centers for Medicare &

Is Medicare Advantage sold everywhere in Pennsylvania?

Yes, Medicare Advantage plans are sold in each of Pennsylvania's 67 counties. Some companies, like Humana and Aetna, sell plans in every county. Other companies, like Clover Health and Independence Blue Cross are only available in certain areas.

Methodology and sources

Medicare plan and enrollment data is for 2023 plans and was sourced from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) public use files and from Medicare.gov. We compared plans based on average costs in Pennsylvania, coverage, quality and availability.

Our analysis of Medicare Advantage plans in Pennsylvania excludes plans that do not provide prescription drug coverage. Employer group plans, Medicare-Medicaid Plans (MMPs), Medical Savings Account (MSA) plans, PACE plans, prepayment plans (HCPPs), sanctioned plans and Special Needs Plans (SNPs) are also excluded from the analysis.

Other sources include AARP/UnitedHealthcare, Aetna, Highmark, Humana and UPMC.

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Callers 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 will be routed to a licensed insurance agent who can provide you with further information about the insurance plans offered by one or more nationally recognized insurance companies. 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. We do not offer every plan available in your area. Currently we represent 73 organizations which offer 5,110 products in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) to get information on all of your options.

These numbers provided are not specific to your area, but rather represent the number of organizations and the number of products available on a national basis. We will connect you with licensed insurance agents who can provide information about the number of organizations they represent and the number of products they offer in your service area. Not all plans offer all of these benefits. Benefits may vary by carrier and location.

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

Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed the information contained on this website. Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system every year.

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