Of the 3.8 million New York residents enrolled in Medicare, over half have a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare beneficiaries have plenty of plans to choose from—there are 280 Medicare Advantage plans available in New York.

While it’s good to have options, that many available plans can make it difficult to compare options and feel confident about your chosen Medicare Advantage policy. In this post, we’ll highlight key factors to keep in mind when choosing the best Medicare Advantage plan in New York, so you have the tools to make an informed decision.

Key takeaways:

  • Highly-rated Medicare Advantage plans in New York include those offered by Independent Health, BlueCross BlueShield, and CDPHP Medicare Advantage.

  • The best Medicare Advantage plan in New York provides coverage for the providers, services, and prescription drugs you need. You can compare plans and choose the best one for you with help from a Chapter Medicare Advisor. 

How Medicare Advantage plans work

Medicare Advantage plans are a bundled, private alternative to Original Medicare. They cover the same services as Original Medicare, plus they generally provide additional benefits like routine vision, dental, and hearing coverage. Some Medicare Advantage plans also offer credits for over-the-counter (OTC) items, transportation benefits, and fitness and wellness memberships. 

There are also a few things you should know about  Medicare Advantage plans before enrolling in a plan:

  • Medicare Advantage plans don’t have standardized out-of-pocket costs like Original Medicare does. Private insurers can bill you according to different cost structures, so  out-of-pocket costs vary from one plan to another.

  • Medicare Advantage plans often require prior authorization for services. If denied, you’ll be responsible for covering the full cost of the service.

  • You may need a referral to see specialists with a Medicare Advantage plan. This can be costly if your plan is an HMO and you can only see in-network providers.

  • Some carriers may advertise plans with $0 premiums and give back benefits. These benefits can save you money, but wouldn’t be worth it if your plan doesn’t cover your prescriptions and preferred doctors.

You may be eligible for a Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan. These plans are intended for people with chronic conditions, people who have low-incomes, or people who need care from a skilled nursing home or similar facility. 

Factors to consider when choosing a Medicare Advantage plan

The best Medicare Advantage plan covers the prescriptions, providers, and services you need at the lowest cost to you. To make the most of your health insurance, factor in the following considerations when choosing a plan.

Costs and coverage

It’s important to understand your summary of benefits and know exactly what you’ll pay with a Medicare Advantage plan. You should look further than the monthly premium to understand what your out-of-pocket costs for services will be. While out-of-pocket costs vary, Medicare Advantage plans do have a maximum out-of-pocket cost. If you need regular medical care, be sure to choose a plan with a lower maximum out-of-pocket limit. Making a list of all the services you typically need in a year can help you decide on the best plan for you.

If you have Original Medicare (or want to switch to Original Medicare), we recommend  you consider your options for a Medicare Supplement plan in New York to reduce your costs. New York has one of the best protections around signing up for a Medigap plan—you have guaranteed acceptance into the plan of your choice.

Healthcare providers and quality of care

When choosing a plan, you’ll also want to consider your healthcare providers and each plan’s network. If you’re new to Medicare, there may be a doctor or healthcare facility you want your plan to cover. Furthermore, if you need to find a new doctor or specialist, a restrictive network may cause delays in receiving care. 


There are two ways you can get Part D (prescription drug) coverage with Medicare Advantage: through a standalone plan or through a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription coverage. In either case, you’ll want to make sure that the medications you need are covered by your plan. Make a list of the drugs you take and check that the plan you pick helps pay for them. You should also check the amount you’d pay for each of the prescriptions. We can help you find the lowest-cost drug coverage for the medications you need. Just give us a call to get help finding the right drug plan for you.

Top Medicare Advantage plans in New York

Medicare Advantage plans are reviewed every year by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). CMS uses a star-quality rating system and awards 5 stars for the highest quality Medicare Advantage plans and 1 star for the lowest quality Medicare Advantage plans. 

The following insurance providers received the highest ratings for Medicare Advantage plans they offer:

  • 5 stars: Independent Health

  • 4.5 stars: CDPHP Medicare Advantage, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, MVP Health Care

Keep in mind that these New York Medicare Advantage plans may not be the best options for you. Always make sure to choose an insurance plan that covers the doctors, prescriptions, and services that you need.

How to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan in New York

There are two ways you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan in New York:

  • If you’re new to Medicare, you can sign up for a plan during the Initial Coverage Election Period. 

  • If you’re a current Medicare enrollee, you can switch to a Medicare Advantage plan during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period

Enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan is a big decision, but you don’t have to do it alone! Talk to a Chapter Medicare Advisor to feel confident in your Medicare choices. Call 855-900-2427 or book a time to explore your options.

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