How U.S. News Picked the 2021 Best Insurance Companies for Medicare

For many years, U.S. News has been providing guidance for those researching Medicare plans with an annual list of the insurance companies that offer highly-rated plans within a state. U.S. News does not rate plans, but it does evaluate insurance companies by state based on Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) star ratings of insurer’s individual plans.

Methodology for the 2021 Best Insurance Companies for Medicare Advantage

U.S. News used data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Medicare Compare tool, including its star rating of each Medicare Advantage plan offered in 2021. CMS scores each Medicare plan from 1 to 5 stars, in half-star intervals, in five categories. For an insurance company to be eligible for the list of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Insurance Companies for Medicare Advantage, all Medicare Advantage plans offered by the insurance company in that state had to be rated overall with at least three out of five stars by CMS. U.S. News then averaged the CMS star ratings for each of the eligible companies’ plans and those companies with an average overall rating of 4.5 or more stars earned recognition as a Best Insurance Company for Medicare Advantage.

[Read: What to Consider When Shopping for Medicare Coverage.]

Methodology for the 2021 Best Insurance Companies for Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans

U.S. News used data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Medicare Compare tool, including its star rating of each Medicare plan offered in 2021. CMS scores each Medicare plan from 1 to 5 stars, in half-star intervals, in four categories. For an insurance company to be eligible for the list of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Insurance Companies for Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans, all Part D plans offered by the insurance company in that state had to be rated overall with at least three out of five stars by CMS. U.S. News then averaged the CMS star ratings for each of the eligible companies’ plans and those companies with an average overall rating of 4.5 or more stars earned recognition as a Best Insurance Company for Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans.

[Read: 5 Health Insurance Mistakes Costing You.]

More About Best Medicare Insurance Companies

In addition to rating insurers, U.S. News has republished the CMS star ratings and plan information for each Medicare Advantage plan and Part D Prescription Drug plan in the country. Plans can be searched by ZIP code from the U.S. News Medicare home page. By default, Medicare Advantage plans with drug coverage are displayed, but you can click to see stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D) only, or Medicare Advantage plans without prescription drug coverage. Use the search refine drop-downs and check boxes on the left side to narrow down plans according to your criteria.

An important factor to consider is the prescription drug coverage you may need. Medicare plans that include prescription drugs will pay different amounts on medications, or even change their pricing year-to-year. You may want to take a list of your existing medications and input them into the Medicare.gov site to see plans that cover your medications, as well as the most cost-effective plans.

[See: Top Health Insurance Companies.]

Every year, Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system.

More from U.S. News

The Unexpected Costs of Medicare

Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage: How to Choose

The Deadline for Medicare Enrollment Is Near: Don’t Forget to Review Your Plan

How U.S. News Picked the 2021 Best Insurance Companies for Medicare originally appeared on usnews.com

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