Best Cheap Medicare Advantage Plans in Texas (2024)

AARP/UnitedHealthcare has the best Medicare Advantage plans for most people in Texas.

KelseyCare Advantage also has high-quality plans with low prices, but it's only available in certain parts of Texas, such as Houston.

How we chose the best Texas Medicare Advantage plans

ValuePenguin's data-backed research on Medicare plans in Texas considered Medicare Advantage plans that include prescription drug benefits and that operate in at least 10 Texas counties. Our experts compared monthly rates, plan quality and benefits. A plan's other features such as discounts or extra coverage options were factored in when there was a tie.

Medicare Advantage plans in Texas

AARP/UnitedHealthcare has the best overall Medicare Advantage plans in Texas because of its good benefits, strong customer satisfaction, wide availability and affordability.

If you want a top-rated plan, KelseyCare is a regional company that offers 5-star, $0-per-month Medicare Advantage plans in the area between Houston and Austin. Cigna has the best cheap Medicare Advantage plan. Its plans offer strong benefits at an average cost of $0 per month.

Texas Medicare Advantage companies

Company
Star rating
Monthly cost
KelseyCare Advantage5.0$0
Cigna Healthcare3.7$0
Clover Health3.0$0
Memorial Hermann Health Plan3.0$0
Amerigroup2.5$0
Show All Rows

Data shows the average cost of Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage offered in Texas and the national average star rating for Medicare Advantage plans on Medicare.gov.

The best Medicare Advantage plan for you will change with your health care needs and what you're looking for.

In Texas, 23 insurance companies sell Medicare Advantage plans. However, plan availability varies by county. On average, Texans will have about 49 Medicare Advantage plans to choose from, depending on where they live.

For example, a PPO plan is a good choice if you want more flexibility about doctors and hospitals, but these plans usually cost a little more. You should consider a plan with no deductible if you have high medical needs or a limited budget because the plan's benefits will begin right away.

On the other hand, you can save money by choosing one of the $0 Medicare Advantage plans if you have fewer health needs.

Best overall Medicare Advantage in Texas: AARP/UnitedHealthcare

  • Star rating

  • Monthly rate

    $20 ?

Why it's great

AARP/UnitedHealthcare has good coverage at a reasonable cost and above-average customer service.

AARP/UnitedHealthcare (UHC) has consistently earned high ratings for its Medicare Advantage plans in TX because plans offer numerous extra benefits with good coverage at a reasonable cost and above-average customer service ratings.

Although you do not need to be an AARP member to buy a Medicare Advantage plan through AARP/UHC, annual membership plans are affordable at $16 a year. AARP members get a number of benefits, such as discounts at popular restaurants, grocery stores and hotels.

AARP/UnitedHealthcare gets half as many complaints as expected for an average insurance company its size, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

AARP/UHC plans start at $0 per month, and a wide variety of plans are available across Texas. The health benefits have broad coverage, and many plans include a large collection of add-on benefits like vision, dental care and hearing aid coverage.

AARP/UnitedHealthcare has the third highest number of Medicare Advantage plans in Texas behind Humana and Blue Cross Blue Shield. That means you can buy an AARP/UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plan whether you live in Houston or El Paso.

Best cheap Medicare Advantage in Texas: Cigna

  • Star rating

  • Monthly rate

    $0 ?

Why it's great Cigna has cheap plans with good prescription drug benefits.

Cigna has the best deal on Medicare Advantage plans in Texas. All of its plans are free, and the company is ranked second for customer satisfaction in a recent J.D. Power survey.

You can buy Medicare Advantage plans from Cigna in most parts of Texas. All of its plans have a $0 monthly rate. In addition, it has an average out-of-pocket maximum of $5,131 that's nearly 10% below the state average. A low out-of-pocket maximum is important if you have a serious or ongoing illness because it caps your annual costs.

Cigna's HMO plans are a better deal than its PPO plans. Not only do they have a lower out-of-pocket maximum, but they also have a high average star rating of 4.0. Consider an HMO plan if you're OK with restricting your care to a group of preapproved doctors and specialists.

Cigna Medicare Advantage plans offer a variety of benefits that Original Medicare doesn't have. In addition to standard extras such as vision, dental and hearing, some Cigna plans also help you pay for gym memberships, transportation to and from doctor visits and even meal deliveries to your home.

Keep in mind that these benefits aren't offered with every Cigna Medicare Advantage plan. Ask your broker or carefully read the fine print on your plan before you buy.

Cigna gets slightly more complaints than an average insurance company of a similar size, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). A high level of complaints could signal difficulties with the claims process, such as longer wait times or unhelpful customer service.

Best Medicare Advantage in Houston & East Texas: KelseyCare Advantage

KelseyCare Advantage
  • Star rating

  • Monthly rate

    $0 ?

Why it's great

KelseyCare Advantage offers high-quality coverage at an affordable cost.

KelseyCare Advantage offers 5-star Medicare Advantage plans that cost $0 per month in the following counties:

  • Austin
  • Brazoria
  • Chambers
  • Fort Bend
  • Galveston
  • Grimes
  • Harris
  • Liberty
  • Montgomery
  • San Jacinto
  • Walker
  • Waller
  • Wharton

A 5-star rating signals a high level of customer satisfaction and strong plan quality.

Consider KelseyCare Advantage if you live in the East Texas region clustered around Houston. It's just one of two Medicare Advantage companies to offer 5-star rated plans in Texas.

You can switch from your current Medicare Advantage plan to a 5-star rated plan at any time of the year through what's called a 5-star special enrollment period. However, you must live in an area where 5-star plans are available to take advantage of this special enrollment period.

KelseyCare Advantage has a low, average out-of-pocket maximum of $3,943. That's roughly 30% lower than the $5,660 Texas state average.

In addition to paying nothing when you visit your primary care doctor, you can use KelseyCare's $1,000 Flex Card to pay for dental, hearing or vision-related services, or home fitness equipment.

KelseyCare Advantage only offers HMO plans, but that will restrict you to a network of doctors. You also need to get permission from your primary doctor before seeing a specialist.

Consider a PPO plan from Humana if you want more flexibility. Humana offers the highest-rated PPO plans in Texas and charges affordable monthly rates.

Baylor Scott & White (BSW) is another small insurance company with highly rated plans. However, its rates are more expensive than the Texas state average. Baylor Scott & White plans are available in central-east Texas between Dallas and Austin.

Keep in mind that BSW may not have as wide of a hospital network as some of the larger insurance companies.

If you live in a county where 5-star Medicare Advantage plans are available, you can change to one of these plans at any time during the year through a 5-star special enrollment period.

How to apply for Medicare Advantage in Texas

Whether you're applying for Medicare for the first time or you're updating your coverage during the annual open enrollment period, there are important factors to get the best coverage for your needs at the best rate. Keep in mind these five steps when applying for Medicare in Texas.

  1. Initial enrollment and eligibility: You become eligible for Medicare when you turn 65 or through a qualifying disability or medical condition such as ALS or kidney failure. Initial enrollment in Medicare starts by applying for benefits through the Social Security Administration, after which you'll receive your Medicare card.

  2. Choosing your plans: Each year, you should review the plans offered in your area through Medicare.gov. This can help you compare coverage options and choose plans for Medicare Advantage (Part C).
  3. Compare costs: In Texas, it costs an average of $28 per month for a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug benefits. However, available options can cost anywhere from $0 to $179 per month. You can find the best deal for you by comparing the total annual cost of the policy to your expected health care needs.
  4. Discounts and savings: If you meet certain income requirements in Texas, you can qualify for lower rates on the different parts of Medicare through programs such as Extra Help.
  5. Local resources: Personalized assistance is available through the Texas Health & Human Services Commission, which has benefits counselors to help you navigate coverage choices and plan selection.

Texas Medicare enrollment statistics

  • Medicare enrollees in Texas: 4.6 million
  • Number of Medicare Advantage companies operating in Texas: 23
  • Average monthly Medicare Advantage cost in Texas: $28
  • Average monthly Medicare Part D cost in Texas: $57

Frequently asked questions

Is Medicare free in Texas?

Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) is free for about 99% of Texans because of the Medicare taxes paid during working years. In addition, free Medicare Advantage plans are available, which have bundled coverage that often includes dental, vision and prescription drug benefits.

However, all Medicare enrollees must pay for Medicare Part B (medical insurance), with the standard rate of $174.70 per month.

What's the best Medicare Advantage plan in Texas?

AARP/UnitedHealthcare offers the best overall Medicare Advantage in Texas. These high-quality plans offer a good value at an average cost of $20 per month. Cigna has the best deal on cheap coverage. KelseyCare Advantage has highly rated $0 plans, but they're not available everywhere in Texas.

What percentage of Medicare enrollees in Texas have Medicare Advantage?

About 52% of Texans enrolled in Medicare have chosen a Medicare Advantage plan for bundled coverage. The remaining 48% have Original Medicare (Parts A and B).

How much is Medicare Advantage in Texas?

Medicare Advantage plans in Texas cost $28 per month on average for a plan that includes medical care and prescription drug benefits. However, $0 plans are available in every county and from nearly every company.

What is the best way to compare Texas Medicare Advantage plans?

When comparing Medicare Advantage plans, use star ratings to determine the quality of service and customer satisfaction. Then consider each plan's cost and benefits.


Methodology and sources

Analysis of Texas Medicare plans is based on public use files from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as well as insurer details and third-party data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and J.D. Power.

Our experts only considered the Medicare Advantage companies that offer plans in at least 10 counties in Texas. This excludes insurers like Community First Health Plans and Clover Health, which have limited availability in the state. Plans that do not include prescription drug coverage, employer group plans and Special Needs Plans (SNPs) were also excluded.

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Invitations for application for insurance may be made through QW Insurance Solutions, LLC ("QWIS"), a separate subsidiary of QuoteWizard, 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 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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