Aetna vs. Kaiser Permanente: Medicare Advantage Comparison

Aetna offers Medicare Advantage plans in more states and has better member experience ratings than Kaiser Permanente.
Kate Ashford, CSA®
By Kate Ashford, CSA® 
Published
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 average star ratings from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are just below average for major providers — and so are the average star ratings for Kaiser Permanente.

Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage plans are available in only eight states and Washington, D.C., and Kaiser’s member experience scores from CMS fall below those of other major providers. Kaiser Permanente also offers 4-star plans in only three states.

Here’s a look at how Aetna and Kaiser Permanente compare.

Aetna Medicare Advantage

Aetna Medicare Advantage

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.

M-F 9am-9pm ET, Sa 10am-9pm ET

Speak to a licensed insurance agent on askchapter.org

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from askchapter.org

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.

Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage

Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage

Kaiser Permanente

3.94

CMS Star Rating

Kaiser Permanente plans get average star ratings — lower than last year — and the provider sells plans in only eight states and Washington, D.C.

M-F 9am-9pm ET, Sa 10am-9pm ET

Speak to a licensed insurance agent on askchapter.org

GET A QUOTE

from askchapter.org

States available

8 states and Washington, D.C.


Members in high-rated plans

Medium (50% to 89%)


Member experience

2.44 (Below average)


States available

8 states and Washington, D.C.


Members in high-rated plans

Medium (50% to 89%)


Member experience

2.44 (Below average)


Pros

  • Earns above-average customer satisfaction scores in California, one of the major Medicare markets studied by J.D. Power.
  • Eight in 10 members are in a highly-rated plan.
  • Most plans include drug coverage.

Cons

  • Available in only eight states and Washington, D.C.
  • Offers mostly HMO plans, so most members must work within Kaiser’s network of medical providers.
  • Member experience ratings overall are below average.

Other factors to consider

Provider size

5th-largest provider of Medicare Advantage plans.

Medicare Advantage enrollment

1.8 million.

Percent of plans rated 4 stars or higher

33%.

Percent of plans with $0 premium

51%.

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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