The Medicare Advantage Costs Index

Selecting a Medicare Advantage plan for 2019 can be a daunting process during the Annual Enrollment Period. Often, it’s helpful to look at overall costs and compare them to your previous year’s expenses. 

HealthMarkets has conducted a study to rank each state based on the average cost of Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans in 2019. Below you can see which states offer the lowest average costs, or use the interactive map to find the projected 2019 costs for your home state. We’ve also compared the difference in average cost between 2018 and 2019 plans. 

Choosing your health coverage is a complex process. Medicare plans widely vary, and beneficiaries should sit down with a licensed insurance agent to ensure they get the plan that best fits their needs and budget. This study is meant to serve as a tool in your Medicare Advantage plan research. 

States With the Lowest Medicare Advantage Costs in 2019

Below we’ve outlined the 10 states where Medicare Advantage costs are lowest. States are ranked by lowest total average annual cost, which is calculated from the average cost of monthly premiums, drug deductibles, and maximum out-of-pocket (MOOP) cost. Each of these individual costs is also listed for every state.*   

1. Nevada

  • Total average cost: $4,678.74
    • Average cost of monthly premiums: $45.14
    • Average cost of drug deductibles: $102.73
    • Average MOOP: $4,034.38

2. Iowa

  • Total average cost: $5,126.42
    • Average cost of monthly premiums: $18.95 
    • Average cost of drug deductibles: $131.67
    • Average MOOP: $4,767.39

3. California

  • Total average cost: $5,234.43
    • Average cost of monthly premiums: $29.16 
    • Average cost of drug deductibles: $140.46
    • Average MOOP: $4,744.00

4. Rhode Island 

  • Total average cost: $5,430.25
    • Average cost of monthly premiums: $64.92 
    • Average cost of drug deductibles: $97.08
    • Average MOOP: $4,554.17

5. Florida 

  • Total average cost: $5,647.83
    • Average cost of monthly premiums: $13.81 
    • Average cost of drug deductibles: $125.70
    • Average MOOP: $5,356.40

6. Ohio 

  • Total average cost: $5,749.93
    • Average cost of monthly premiums: $64.36
    • Average cost of drug deductibles: $125.26
    • Average MOOP: $4,852.40

7. Michigan

  • Total average cost: $5,817.10
    • Average cost of monthly premiums: $84.40 
    • Average cost of drug deductibles: $110.59
    • Average MOOP: $4,693.70

8. Nebraska 

  • Total average cost: $5,823.92
    • Average cost of monthly premiums: $18.97 
    • Average cost of drug deductibles: $134.44
    • Average MOOP: $5,461.81

9. Illinois 

  • Total average cost: $5,859.88
    • Average cost of monthly premiums: $60.25 
    • Average cost of drug deductibles: $75.75
    • Average MOOP: $5,061.12

10. Colorado 

  • Total average cost: $5,881.56
    • Average cost of monthly premiums: $36.27
    • Average cost of drug deductibles: $126.99
    • Average MOOP: $5,319.29

Comparison of Average Medicare Advantage Costs in 2018 vs. 2019

Top 10 States With the Biggest Decrease in Medicare Advantage Costs for 2019

The following states have the largest decrease in Medicare Advantage average annual costs from 2018 to 2019. They are ranked by percentage of decrease in cost. The list also includes the dollar amount that percentage represents. 

1. Kansas 

  • 10.11% decrease in cost
  • $783.43 decrease in cost

2. Delaware

  • 9.58% decrease in cost
  • $711.64 decrease in cost

3. Nebraska 

  • 9.36% decrease in cost
  • $601.22 decrease in cost

4. North Carolina 

  • 7.87% decrease in cost
  • $551.02 decrease in cost

5. Missouri 

  • 7.73% decrease in cost
  • $493.07 decrease in cost

6. Florida 

  • 7.44% decrease in cost
  • $453.90 decrease in cost

7. Kentucky 

  • 6.16% decrease in cost
  • $437.15 decrease in cost

8. Michigan 

  • 5.77% decrease in cost 
  • $356.43 decrease in cost 

9. Pennsylvania 

  • 5.35% decrease in cost 
  • $379.55 decrease in cost 

10. Colorado 

  • 4.93% decrease in cost 
  • $305.11 decrease in cost 

Top 10 States With the Biggest Increase in Medicare Advantage Costs for 2019

The following states have the largest increase in Medicare Advantage average annual cost from 2018 to 2019. They are ranked by percentage of increase in cost. The list also includes the dollar amount that percentage represents. 

1. New Hampshire 

  • 6.93% increase in cost 
  • $451.37 increase in cost 

2. Washington, DC 

  • 6.79% increase in cost 
  • $467.13 increase in cost 

3. Maryland

  • 6.29% increase in cost 
  • $431.86 increase in cost 

4. Vermont 

  • 4.61% increase in cost 
  • $305.62 increase in cost 

5. Oregon 

  • 3.57% increase in cost 
  • $210.73 increase in cost 

6. Massachusetts

  • 2.03% increase in cost 
  • $124.29 increase in cost 

7. Minnesota 

  • 1.83% increase in cost 
  • $109.52 increase in cost 

8. Hawaii 

  • 1.03% increase in cost 
  • $66.11 increase in cost 

9. Montana 

  • 1.01% increase in cost 
  • $66.99 increase in cost 

10. North Dakota 

  • 0.73% increase in cost 
  • $47.47 increase in cost 

2019 Total Average Medicare Advantage (Part C) Cost by State

1

Nevada

$4,678.74

26

Utah

$6,575.00

2

Iowa

$5,126.42

27

Texas

$6,602.68

3

California

$5,234.43

28

Kentucky

$6,657.26

4

Rhode Island

$5,430.25

29

Connecticut

$6,670.91

5

Florida

$5,647.83

30

Montana

$6,677.44

6

Ohio

$5,749.93

31

Virginia

$6,690.46

7

Michigan

$5,817.10

32

New Mexico

$6,694.22

8

Nebraska

$5,823.92

33

Delaware

$6,718.50

9

Illinois

$5,859.88

34

Pennsylvania

$6,720.30

10

Colorado

$5,881.56

35

Washington

$6,766.45

11

Missouri

$5,886.79

36

Louisiana

$6,797.22

12

Wisconsin

$5,890.76

37

Georgia

$6,897.62

13

Arizona

$6,058.32

38

South Carolina

$6,928.79

14

Minnesota

$6,087.97

39

Vermont

$6,931.80

15

Oregon

$6,106.23

40

New Hampshire

$6,962.53

16

Indiana

$6,112.96

41

Kansas

$6,963.95

17

Oklahoma

$6,125.70

42

Arkansas

$6,971.82

18

Alabama

$6,178.33

43

Idaho

$6,974.25

19

Massachusetts

$6,242.42

44

Wyoming

$7,139.67

20

South Dakota

$6,296.12

45

New York

$7,149.53

21

North Carolina

$6,446.16

46

New Jersey

$7,210.30

22

Maine

$6,467.81

47

West Virginia

$7,230.34

23

Hawaii

$6,478.79

48

Maryland

$7,292.23

24

Tennessee

$6,502.08

49

Washington D.C.

$7,350.33

25

North Dakota

$6,573.87

50

Mississippi

$7,451.04


Percentage Difference of Total Average Medicare Advantage Cost in 2018 vs. 2019 by State

Note: Negative percentage equates to a decrease 

1

Kansas

-10.11%

26

Virginia

-1.89%

2

Delaware

-9.58%

27

California

-1.89%

3

Nebraska

-9.36%

28

Indiana

-1.63%

4

North Carolina

-7.87%

29

Iowa

-1.42%

5

Missouri

-7.73%

30

New Jersey

-1.37%

6

Florida

-7.44%

31

Georgia

-1.29%

7

Kentucky

-6.16%

32

New Mexico

-1.02%

8

Michigan

-5.77%

33

Mississippi

-0.91%

9

Pennsylvania

-5.35%

34

Utah

-0.85%

10

Colorado

-4.93%

35

Texas

-0.36%

11

West Virginia

-4.32%

36

New York

-0.13%

12

Ohio

-4.15%

37

Maine

0.10%

13

Nevada

-4.05%

38

South Dakota

0.43%

14

Arkansas

-3.84%

39

Rhode Island

0.44%

15

South Carolina

-3.43%

40

Washington

0.50%

16

Tennessee

-3.39%

41

North Dakota

0.73%

17

Idaho

-3.30%

42

Montana

1.01%

18

Illinois

-3.30%

43

Hawaii

1.03%

19

Alabama

-3.10%

44

Minnesota

1.83%

20

Wisconsin

-2.81%

45

Massachusetts

2.03%

21

Connecticut

-2.71%

46

Oregon

3.57%

22

Oklahoma

-2.44%

47

Vermont

4.61%

23

Louisiana

-2.30%

48

Maryland

6.29%

24

Arizona

-2.18%

49

Washington D.C.

6.79%

25

Wyoming

-1.95%

50

New Hampshire

6.93%


Cost Difference of Total Average Medicare Advantage Cost in 2018 vs. 2019 by State

Note: Negative amount equates to a decrease 

1

Kansas

-$783.43

26

Virginia

-$128.60

2

Delaware

-$711.64

27

Indiana

-$101.45

3

Nebraska

-$601.22

28

California

-$100.57

4

North Carolina

-$551.02

29

New Jersey

-$100.24

5

Missouri

-$493.07

30

Georgia

-$90.00

6

Florida

-$453.90

31

Iowa

-$73.82

7

Kentucky

-$437.15

32

New Mexico

-$69.25

8

Pennsylvania

-$379.55

33

Mississippi

-$68.73

9

Michigan

-$356.43

34

Utah

-$56.61

10

West Virginia

-$326.66

35

Texas

-$24.13

11

Colorado

-$305.11

36

New York

-$8.99

12

Arkansas

-$278.40

37

Maine

$6.17

13

Ohio

-$248.76

38

Rhode Island

$23.55

14

South Carolina

-$245.92

39

South Dakota

$26.93

15

Idaho

-$238.13

40

Washington

$33.34

16

Tennessee

-$228.44

41

North Dakota

$47.47

17

Illinois

-$199.79

42

Hawaii

$66.11

18

Alabama

-$197.83

43

Montana

$66.99

19

Nevada

-$197.54

44

Minnesota

$109.52

20

Connecticut

-$185.67

45

Massachusetts

$124.29

21

Wisconsin

-$170.34

46

Oregon

$210.73

22

Louisiana

-$160.35

47

Vermont

$305.62

23

Oklahoma

-$153.50

48

Maryland

$431.86

24

Wyoming

-$142.33

49

New Hampshire

$451.37

25

Arizona

-$135.22

50

Washington D.C.

$467.13


Study Methodology

This study sourced data from CMS (2019 MA Landscape Source Files [v_10_12_18]) to determine average costs of Medicare Advantage plan premiums, drug deductibles, and maximum out-of-pocket (MOOP) cost in each state and the District of Columbia. Plans that had MOOPs designated as “N/A,” MSA plans, and plans that do not offer enhanced drug coverage were not included in the calculations for this study. 

The states are ranked by lowest total average annual cost, which is calculated as a sum of the average cost of monthly premiums (annualized), drug deductibles, and maximum out-of-pocket (MOOP) cost. The total average annual cost is a reflection of the average cost of available plans in the market but does not necessarily reflect the true amount spent on Medicare Advantage plans because beneficiaries may naturally gravitate toward less expensive plans. Additionally, the average annual cost does not include copays, coinsurance, and other costs, including various other drug-related costs, incurred outside of MOOP, premiums and drug deductibles. 

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*Alaska is not included because Medicare Advantage plans are not offered in the state.


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