Aetna vs. Anthem: Medicare Advantage Comparison

Aetna offers Medicare Advantage plans in more states and enjoys higher ratings than Anthem.
Kate Ashford, CSA®
By Kate Ashford, CSA® 
Updated
Edited by Holly Carey

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Aetna Medicare Advantage offers a strong menu of benefits with widely available plans and member experience ratings that are above the industry average. Aetna’s star ratings from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are just below average for major providers.

Anthem-branded Medicare Advantage plans are available in only 14 states, and the company’s average star ratings and member experience scores from CMS fall below average. Anthem also offers 4-star plans in only three states.

Here’s a look at how Aetna and Anthem compare.

Aetna Medicare Advantage

Aetna Medicare Advantage - ME

Aetna

3.98

CMS Star Rating

Aetna Medicare Advantage plans are widely available and offer a variety of extra benefits. Member experience scores are also high, although star ratings fall just below the industry average.

(866) 907-3870 / TTY 711

8am - 11pm EST, 7 days a week

Speak to a licensed insurance agent on MedicareEnrollment.com

GET A QUOTE

from MedicareEnrollment.com

States available

46 states and Washington, D.C.


Members in high-rated plans

Medium (50% to 89%)


Member experience

3.79 (Above average)


States available

46 states and Washington, D.C.


Members in high-rated plans

Medium (50% to 89%)


Member experience

3.79 (Above average)


Pros

  • In addition to dental, vision and hearing, many plans offer perks like an over-the-counter allowance, meal delivery and in-home health visits.
  • More than 8 in 10 Medicare-eligible beneficiaries have access to a $0-premium Aetna plan.
  • Available in 46 states and Washington, D.C.

Cons

  • Customer satisfaction lands below industry average in some major Medicare markets.

Other factors to consider

Provider size

4th-largest provider of Medicare Advantage plans.

Medicare Advantage enrollment

More than 3.3 million.

Percent of plans rated 4 stars or higher

59%.

Percent of plans with $0 premium

71%.

Plans available

HMO, HMO-POS, PPO, SNP.

Anthem Medicare Advantage

Anthem Medicare Advantage - ME

Anthem

3.45

CMS Star Rating

Anthem's plans offer a range of benefits and flexible care, but plans are available in only 14 states and receive below-average star ratings.

(855) 608-4561 / TTY 711

8am - 11pm EST, 7 days a week

Speak to a licensed insurance agent on MedicareEnrollment.com

GET A QUOTE

from MedicareEnrollment.com

States available

14 states


Members in high-rated plans

Low (49% or less)


Member experience

2.89 (Below average)


States available

14 states


Members in high-rated plans

Low (49% or less)


Member experience

2.89 (Below average)


Pros

  • Most plans cover prescription drugs and offer some coverage for dental, hearing and vision care.
  • Anthem's "Essential Extras" benefits let members choose extra plan benefits that meet their needs, such as $500/year toward assistive devices or $150/quarter toward household utilities.

Cons

  • Available in only 14 states.
  • Below-average overall star rating and member experience scores from CMS.
  • 4-star rated plans available in only three states.

Other factors to consider

Provider size

Part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield collective, which is the 3rd-largest provider of Medicare Advantage plans.

Medicare Advantage enrollment

More than 1.3 million.

Percent of plans rated 4 stars or higher

5%.

Percent of plans with $0 premium

59%.

Plans available

HMO, HMO-POS, PPO, SNP.

Find the right Medicare Advantage plan

It’s important to do your research before selecting a Medicare Advantage plan for yourself. Here are some questions to consider asking:

  • What are the plan’s costs? Do you understand what the plan’s premium, deductibles, copays and/or coinsurance will be? Can you afford them?

  • Is your doctor in-network? If you have a preferred medical provider or providers, make sure they participate in the plan’s network.

  • Are your prescriptions covered? If you’re on medication, it’s crucial to understand how the plan covers it. What tier are your prescription drugs on, and are there any coverage rules that apply to them?

  • Is there dental coverage? Does the plan offer routine coverage for vision, dental and hearing needs?

  • Are there extras? Does the plan offer any extra benefits, such as fitness memberships, transportation benefits or meal delivery?

If you have additional questions about Medicare, visit Medicare.gov or call 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227, TTY 877-486-2048).

Still deciding on the right carrier? Compare Medicare Advantage plans

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