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Nearly 645,000 people in Iowa are signed up for Medicare.
Medicare is the government health care program for people age 65 and older. Medicare Advantage is a bundled alternative to Medicare that offers all the same benefits and usually some extras, such as cost savings on dental and vision coverage.
Medicare Advantage plans offer more benefits than Original Medicare, and they can be cheaper than paying for Medicare and a Medicare Supplement plan. However, they offer less flexibility since you’ll need to get care from within the plan’s network of providers. Weigh your options to determine what plan best suits your needs.
What to know about Medicare in Iowa
More than 1 in 5 people in Iowa are 65 and older, and there are a wide variety of Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans in the state.
The average monthly premium in 2022 for a Medicare Advantage plan in Iowa is $8.99. (It was $9.73 in 2021.)
There are 61 Medicare Advantage plans available in Iowa in 2022. (This is up from 55 plans in 2021.)
Almost all (97%) of Medicare-eligible people in Iowa have access to a $0-premium Medicare Advantage plan.
Medicare Advantage providers in Iowa
Health Alliance Medicare.
HealthPartners UnityPoint Health.
Medical Associates Health Plans.
Quartz Medicare Advantage.
Wellmark Advantage Health Plan.
Top-rated Medicare Advantage plans in Iowa
Each year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, awards every Medicare Advantage plan a star rating on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being a top-rated plan. Below are plans that received top marks in Iowa for the 2022 plan year. (Check out more information about Medicare star ratings.)
The plans below are rated 5 stars out of 5 by the CMS:
HealthPartners UnityPoint Health: HealthPartners UnityPoint Health Align, HealthPartners UnityPoint Health Symmetry.
Medical Associates Health Plans: Central Iowa Health Senior Plan, Medical Associates Basic Plan, Medical Associates Community Plan, Medical Associates Freedom Plan, Medical Associates SmartPlan, Mercy Cedar Rapids Senior Plan, Mercy Iowa City Senior Plan, MercyOne Cedar Valley Senior Plan, MercyOne Clinton Community Senior Plan, MercyOne North Iowa Senior Plan, Quad Cities Community Health Senior Plan.
Quartz Medicare Advantage: Gundersen Quartz Med Advantage Core D (w/Rx), Gundersen Quartz Med Advantage Elite, Gundersen Quartz Med Advantage Elite D (w/Rx), Gundersen Quartz Med Advantage Value, Gundersen Quartz Med Advantage Value D (w/Rx).
UnitedHealthcare: AARP Medicare Advantage (most counties), AARP Medicare Advantage Plan 2.
The plans below are rated 4.5 stars out of 5 by the CMS:
Aetna Medicare: Aetna Medicare Eagle, Aetna Medicare Premier (HMO-POS), Aetna Medicare Prime (HMO-POS).
Humana: Humana Gold Plus.
MediGold: MediGold Essential Care, MediGold Medical Only, MediGold Prime Choice, MediGold True Advantage.
UnitedHealthcare: AARP Medicare Advantage (Cass, Mills and Pottawattamie counties).
This list doesn't include special needs plans, which restrict membership to people with certain diseases or characteristics, such as having a chronic illness or living in a nursing home.
How to choose a Medicare Advantage plan
It’s crucial to ask a few questions as you’re shopping for the right plan. Here’s a quick checklist to help you consider your options:
How much 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 doctor (or doctors) or hospital, make sure they participate in the plan’s network.
Are your prescriptions covered? If you’re on medication, 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 additional perks, such as fitness memberships, transportation benefits or meal delivery?
You can use Medicare’s plan finding tool to compare plans in your area.
Medicare Advantage providers
Get more information below about some of the major Medicare Advantage providers. These insurers offer plans in most states. The plans you can choose from will depend on your ZIP code and county.
If you have additional questions about Medicare, visit Medicare.gov or call 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227, TTY 877-486-2048).