Medicare Advantage plans can vary by state in terms of beneficiaries and participation rates. In Fort Smith Arizona, for example, Medicare Advantage participation rates are at 32.58% with beneficiaries totaling 26,173.

Arizona Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Advantage plans are offered through private insurance companies. These plans provide you the same benefits that Original Medicare does.

It’s another way for you to get coverage with a private plan instead of Original Medicare through the federal government program. Some of these plans do include prescription drug coverage, but not all.

These plans are different from carrier to carrier, which is why it’s so important that you understand what each plan covers before enrolling by looking at the summary of benefits closely.

In more recent years private Medicare Advantage plans are becoming more popular. In 2021 there were more than 26 million Medicare beneficiaries enrolled. Sixteen carriers are currently offering Medicare Advantage plans in Arizona.

Medicare Advantage Plans Offers in Arizona

Medicare Advantage plans are not standardized by the federal government like a Medigap plan. Most Medicare Advantage plans offer coverage for what Original Medicare doesn’t cover, such as fitness programs, dental, hearing, and vision services. Plans also have the option to choose to cover even more benefits.

There are more specific Advantage plans within Arizona that you can choose. Below, we will list out Arizona Medicare Advantage plans with a zero dollar premium, ones that have a zero dollar drug deductible, those with a 5-star rating, and those that include Part B reduction.

Medicare Advantage Plans with a Zero Dollar Premium in Arizona

The chart below goes over some of the Medicare Advantage plans with a zero dollar premium with Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans and Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans. It’s crucial to understand these plans will end up costing more out-of-pocket as you use the benefits.

As you can see, Humana offers a Local PPO plan but has one of the highest maximum out-of-pocket (MOOP) costs. The star rating, however, is at a 4, which is excellent.

The lowest out-of-pocket cost is with the Banner HMO plan but it doesn’t have an accurate star rating. So, while this may be tempting to choose due to the lesser cost for your MOOP, you may want to do more research to find out how well they provide customer service.

Aetna’s Local PPO plan has an excellent rating but has the most expensive MOOP. However, the other HMO plans sometimes may require copayment fees for non-preventative visits, which would raise your out-of-pocket costs.

PLAN PREMIUM MOOP PLAN TYPE STAR RATINGS
Humana $0 $4,440 LOCAL PPO 4
UnitedHealthcare $0 $3,000 HMO 4
Banner $0 $2,775 HMO N/A
BCBS of Arizona $0 $4,250 HMO 3
Aetna $0 $5,500 LOCAL PPO 4

Medicare Advantage Plans with a Zero Dollar Drug Deductible in Arizona

The chart below lists some of the zero-dollar drug deductible plans. With UnitedHealthcare, you get both a zero premium and drug deductible, as well as plans with Banner and BCBS of Arizona.

Wellcare doesn’t have a zero premium but does have a zero dollar deductible as part of its plan. It also has a lower MOOP, so it may be a plan to consider.

It makes sense that Aetna has the highest out-of-pocket costs since it offers both a zero-dollar drug deductible and zero premium as part of its plan.

PLAN PREMIUM MOOP PLAN TYPE STAR RATINGS
UnitedHealthcare $0 $3,000 HMO 4
Banner $0 $2,775 HMO N/A
BCBS of Arizona $0 $4,250 HMO 3
Wellcare $0 $3,450 HMO 3
Aetna $0 $5,550 LOCAL PPO 4

Medicare Advantage Plans with a Part B Reduction in Arizona

Part B Reduction, or the giveback benefit, is provided by giving the beneficiary a reduced monthly premium amount. The plans do vary by zip code, and not all areas will offer plans with the Part B giveback. So even though they may be available in some areas of the state, they may not be available in your city.

Wellcare and Scan Desert offer the highest Part B reduction. If you’re looking to pay a reduced amount per month that’s more substantial those plans would be good to consider.

The Scan Desert plan does not have a star rating, however, so you may want to inquire about or do some research on their customer service. They also do provide the least amount of maximum expenses out-of-pocket.

Aetna is the next largest Part B Reduction at $55, with an excellent 4-star rating. It makes sense that with $0 premiums for drug deductible and premium that it would have a more significant Part B giveback.

PLAN PREMIUM MOOP PART B REDUCTION STAR RATINGS
Humana $0 $4,400 $50.00 4
Aetna $0 $5,500 $55.00 4
UnitedHealthcare $0 $5,900 $40.00 4
Wellcare $0 $3,450 $75.00 3
Scan Desert $0 $2,999 $75.00 N/A

Ancillary/DVH

Medicare Advantage plans do offer additional benefits that you would not receive with Original Medicare and Medigap plans. These Ancillary services include dental, vision, and hearing (DVH), as well as prescription drug coverage.

Cities in Arizona with Estimated Premiums for Medicare Advantage Coverage

You can find charts with estimated premiums for Medicare Advantage coverage for the below cities:

FAQs

When can I add a Medicare Advantage plan in Arizona?

When you’re enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during any of the Medicare Advantage enrollment periods. Just ensure that you know you are leaving the federal government program of Original Medicare when you enroll with a private Medicare Advantage plan.

How many Medicare Advantage plans are available in Arizona and what is the cost?

There are 4 main types of plans available in Arizona’s Medicare Advantage program. These include Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS), and Special Needs Plans (SNPs). What you pay in a Medicare Advantage plan depends on several factors. In most cases, you’ll need to use health care providers who participate in the plan’s network.

Can I switch from a Medicare Advantage plan in Arizona back to a Medigap plan?

Yes, you can switch yourself back to a traditional Medicare and Medigap from your Medicare Advantage plan. If you leave the Medicare Advantage plan in the first 12 months, you can return to your Medigap plan without underwriting. In that first year ONLY, you will be guaranteed to reinstate your former Medigap plan. Be aware of this window if you try Medicare Advantage and decide you don’t like it.

Do Medicare Advantage plans in Arizona cost more than Original Medicare and Medigap coverage?

Medicare Advantage plans offer all of the same benefits as medicare with inclusions of ancillary benefits like hearing, dental, and vision. Even though they offer more benefits than Original Medicare, they can be cheaper via premium than paying for Original Medicare and a Medicare Supplement plan. This is because carriers make their money when you pay high out-of-pocket costs while using the benefits.

How do I choose the best Medicare Advantage plan in Arizona?

Take time to compare rates and premiums from Arizona’s Medicare Advantage plan providers. Consider all factors including how much your maximum out-of-pocket expense will be, deductibles, copays, and additional benefits. It would be most helpful to speak with an expert to help you through the process of which plan will suit your needs.

How to Get Help Enrolling in an Arizona Medicare Advantage Plan

When you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan in the state of Arizona, consider which benefits are most important to you. If you like to travel, then a Medicare Advantage plan may not be the best option.

To get help comparing plans in your area, give us a call at the number above. Or, you can use our online rate form to see rates in your area now.

Picture of the author
by Lindsay Malzone, Lindsay Malzone is the Medicare expert for Medigap.com. She's been contributing to many well-known publications as an industry expert since 2017. Her passion is educating Medicare beneficiaries on all their supplemental Medicare options so they can make an informed decision on their healthcare coverage.