38% of Virginia Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. This percentage is lower than the national average of 48%. It’s important to understand the differences between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage before you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. Each type of Medicare coverage has different pros and cons! If you’re considering enrolling in Medicare Advantage, choosing the best Medicare Advantage plan available in Virginia is a big decision. 

In this guide, we’ll explain the key differences between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. We’ll then share information on some of the top-rated Medicare Advantage plans in Virginia. Finally, we’ll walk you through how to choose the best Medicare Advantage plan for specific needs. 

Key takeaways:

  • There are a lot of Medicare Advantage plans in Virginia, but availability varies by county.

  • Virginia Medicare Advantage plans provide an alternative to Original Medicare.

  • Many people enroll in Medicare Advantage plans because they come with extra coverage and perks.

  • The best Medicare Advantage plan in Virginia takes care of your healthcare needs at a price that works for you.

  • Insurance providers with highly-rated Medicare Advantage plans in Virginia include UnitedHealthcare, Cigna, and Humana.

2024 facts on Medicare Advantage plans in Virginia

Like with all Medicare Advantage plans, the premiums, networks, and benefits of Virginia’s plans will vary. Below are some quick facts that will help you understand your options:

  • You can find 147 Medicare Advantage plans in Virginia

  • 11 insurance carriers provide Medicare Advantage plans in Virginia 

  • The average monthly premium for Medicare Advantage plans in Virginia is $13

Keep in mind that plan availability varies by county, so you won’t have access to all of the 147 Virginia Medicare Advantage plans.

Key differences between Medicare Advantage and Original Medicare

Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage are your two primary Medicare insurance options. There are a few differences between the two that are important to understand when choosing between them. We’ve outlined these differences below.

Original MedicareMedicare Advantage
Made up of Part A and Part BCovers the same services and Part A and Part B
Doesn’t include prescription drug coverageCan include prescription drug coverage
Run by the federal governmentOffered by private insurers
Standardized out-of-pocket costsOut-of-pocket costs vary
Doesn’t require prior authorizationCan require prior authorization
Doesn’t have network restrictionsProviders typically need to be in-network
Doesn’t offer additional benefitsCan offer additional benefits
Can be combined with Medigap coverageCannot be combined with Medigap coverage

The main attraction of Medicare Advantage plans is that they offer additional benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t. While these perks can be useful, Medicare Advantage plans also have their drawbacks.

Benefits of a Medicare Advantage plan 

Medicare Advantage plans must cover the same services as Original Medicare, but additional benefits can vary from plan to plan. Some of the potential benefits are listed below, but keep in mind that plans won’t necessarily include all of these benefits.

Medicare Advantage also offers Special Needs Plans for people with chronic conditions, people with low incomes, and people who need institutional care.

Highly-rated Medicare Advantage plans in Virginia 

One way to assess the quality of a Medicare Advantage plan in Virginia is to check its star rating. Every year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) judges Medicare Advantage plans and gives them a rating of 1-5 stars. A 5-star plan is considered the highest quality. Below are some of the carriers who offer top-rated Medicare Advantage plans in Virginia.

Carriers offering 5-star plans:

  • UnitedHealthcare

Carriers offering 4.5-star plans:

  • Cigna

  • Humana

  • UnitedHealthcare

Even if a plan is highly rated, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the best plan for you. The best Medicare Advantage plan for you is unique to you. It should provide the best coverage and added benefits for your specific needs—and with premiums and out-of-pocket costs that you can afford. 

Finding your best Medicare Advantage plan in Virginia 

There are three important factors to consider when deciding on the best VA Medicare Advantage plan for you. 

First, take note of the prescriptions you take and the doctors you see. Each Medicare Advantage plan covers different networks of doctors and a different set of prescription drugs. Especially if you have a medical condition, this is the most important thing to consider when choosing the best Medicare Advantage plan.

Second, consider the costs associated with Medicare Advantage plans. While many carriers offer $0 Medicare Advantage plans, keep in mind that you’ll still have to pay your Original Medicare premiums. Additionally, you’ll be responsible for meeting a deductible before your insurance starts to pay. And once your deductible is met, you’ll still owe a share of the costs of services received. Premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance amounts all vary from one Medicare Advantage plan to another, so make sure you’re aware of the cost structure and will be able to afford the care you need throughout the year.

Finally, you can think about the added benefits that Medicare Advantage plans can provide and prioritize those that add the most value to your life. From free gym memberships to dental coverage, there are a lot of potential perks—but you’ll have to decide which ones matter most to you.

Finding the right Medicare Advantage plan in Virginia doesn’t have to be a chore! Let a licensed Medicare Advisor at Chapter help you compare options, enroll in a plan, and make the most out of your health insurance. We’re here to make your life easier! Call us at 855-900-2427 or schedule a time to talk. 

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