Aetna Medicare Advantage 2024 Review

Aetna Medicare Advantage is a low-cost option with strong benefits and above-average reviews for member satisfaction.
Kate Ashford, CSA®
By Kate Ashford, CSA® 
Edited by Holly Carey

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Best for extra perks
Aetna Medicare Advantage



CMS Star Rating

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

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States available

46 states and Washington, D.C.

Members in high-rated plans

Medium (50% to 89%)

Member experience

3.77 (Above average)

States available

46 states and Washington, D.C.

Members in high-rated plans

Medium (50% to 89%)

Member experience

3.77 (Above average)


  • 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.


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

Aetna is the fourth-largest provider of Medicare Advantage plans

. A CVS Health company since 2018, Aetna offers a strong array of benefits. Every Aetna Medicare Advantage plan includes dental, vision and hearing benefits, and many plans offer additional (and valuable) perks. The plans are also largely low cost, with an estimated 84% of Medicare beneficiaries having access to a $0-premium Aetna plan.

The company's offerings are notable, and Aetna Medicare Advantage plans score above average for member experience, including health care quality and customer service

NerdWallet analysis of CMS data. 2024 Star Ratings Data Tables (ZIP). Accessed Apr 11, 2024.

Here’s what you should know about Aetna Medicare Advantage.

Aetna Medicare Advantage pros and cons

Aetna’s offerings have advantages and disadvantages.


  • Multiple benefits offerings: In addition to dental, vision and hearing, Aetna Medicare beneficiaries in many plans have access to benefits such as an over-the-counter allowance, meal delivery services and in-home health visits


  • Strong $0-premium offerings: In 2024, Aetna estimates that 84% of Medicare-eligible beneficiaries in the U.S. have access to a $0-monthly-premium Aetna Medicare Advantage plan


  • Broad availability: Aetna offers Medicare Advantage plans in 46 states and Washington, D.C., as well as stand-alone drug plans in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C.

  • Drug savings: All Aetna Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans come with a $0 deductible for all Tier 1 and Tier 2 drugs, as well as a $0 copay on Tier 1 drugs.


  • Mediocre member love: Aetna customer satisfaction numbers landed below the industry average in some major Medicare markets, according to J.D. Power’s latest survey.

Aetna Medicare star ratings

Average star rating, weighted by enrollment: 4.14

If you want Medicare’s take on Aetna’s plans, look no further than the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' own star ratings, which rank each plan from best (5 stars) to worst (1 star). The agency bases these ratings on plans’ quality of care and measurements of customer satisfaction, and ratings may change from year to year.

All Medicare Advantage plans are evaluated on health plan measures, and Medicare Advantage plans that include prescription drug coverage are also evaluated on drug plan measures. Based on the most recent year of data and weighted by enrollment, Aetna’s 2024 Medicare Advantage plans get an average rating of 4.14 stars

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 2024 Star Ratings Data Tables (ZIP). Accessed Apr 11, 2024.

For comparison, the average star rating for plans from all providers for 2024 is 4.04

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Fact Sheet - 2024 Medicare Advantage and Part D Star Ratings. Accessed Apr 11, 2024.

Of Aetna members who are in contracts with a Medicare star rating, 87% are in contracts rated 4 stars or above as of March 2024

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Monthly Enrollment by Contract. Accessed Apr 11, 2024.

You can find a plan’s rating with Medicare's plan finding tool.

Still deciding on the right carrier? Compare Medicare Advantage plans

What does Aetna Medicare Advantage cost?

Costs for Medicare Advantage plans will depend on your plan, geographic location and health needs.


One of the costs to consider is the plan’s premium. About 7 in 10 Aetna plans in 2024 have no premium

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. CY2024_Landscape_Files_Final_20240314 (ZIP). Accessed Apr 11, 2024.
, and the company estimates that 84% of Medicare-eligible beneficiaries have access to a $0-monthly-premium Aetna Medicare Advantage plan.

Even as a Medicare Advantage user, you’ll still be responsible for paying your Medicare Part B premium, which is $174.70 per month in 2024, although some plans cover part or all of this cost

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Understanding Medicare Advantage Plans. Accessed Apr 11, 2024.

Copays, coinsurance and deductibles

Requirements for copays, coinsurance and deductibles vary depending on your plan, location and the services you use. Other out-of-pocket costs to consider include:

  • Whether the plan covers any part of your monthly Medicare Part B premium.

  • The plan’s yearly deductibles and any other deductibles, such as a drug deductible.

  • Copayments and/or coinsurance for each visit or service. For instance, there may be a $10 copay for seeing your primary doctor and a $45 copay for seeing a specialist.

  • The plan’s in-network and out-of-network out-of-pocket maximums.

  • Whether your medical providers are in-network or out-of-network, or how often you may go out-of-network for care.

  • Whether you require extra benefits, and whether the plan charges for them.

Here are examples of Aetna Medicare Advantage costs for three plans in a mid-range city:

Aetna Medicare Advantage plan


Aetna Medicare Premier Plus (PPO)

Monthly premium: $0.

Out-of-pocket max: $3,700.


  • Primary care: $0.

  • Specialist: $30.

  • Tier 1 prescription drugs: $0.

Aetna Medicare Premier (HMO-POS)

Monthly premium: $0.

Out-of-pocket max: $3,600.


  • Primary care: $0.

  • Specialist: $25.

  • Tier 1 prescription drugs: $0.

Aetna Medicare SmartFit (HMO-POS)

Monthly premium: $0.

Out-of-pocket max: $3,000.


  • Primary care: $0.

  • Specialist: $20.

  • Tier 1 prescription drugs: $0.

Selected plans are available in ZIP code 66013.

To get a sense of costs, use Medicare’s plan finding tool to compare information among available plans in your area. You can select by insurance carrier to see only Aetna plans or compare across carriers.

Additional Aetna benefits

Aetna Medicare Advantage offers all members access to routine vision, dental and hearing coverage. Some of its plans offer added benefits, many of which aren’t available in other Medicare Advantage plans. Here are a few standouts:

  • Fitness benefits: In addition to the SilverSneakers program, some plans may offer a fitness reimbursement allowance that members can put toward activities (like pickleball) or fitness supplies, including athletic shoes. 

  • Medicare Payment Card: On some plans, members will get a quarterly allowance they can put toward things like medical expenses for in-network services or certain over-the-counter wellness items. 

  • Expanded $0 copays: Many Aetna plans offer a $0 copay for labs and for visits to your primary care physician. In 2024, all plans will offer a $0 copay for preventive and diagnostic colonoscopies, so long as they’re with in-network providers. 

  • MinuteClinic access: Since Aetna is a CVS Health company, members in plans that don’t require a primary care physician (PCP) can visit any MinuteClinic location for medical needs and pay the same copay they would pay to see their PCP. 

  • In-home health visits: Some beneficiaries can request an in-person home health visit or telehealth call as an added convenience.

  • Concierge services for local resources: Aetna’s Resources for Living program can help beneficiaries find the support they need, whether that’s assistance at home, caregiver resources or help finding local activities.

  • Meals at home: After a hospital stay, some plans offer to bring healthy (fresh) meals to your door to help you recuperate.

Aetna Medicare Advantage plan types

Aetna offers several kinds of Medicare Advantage plans, and they vary in structure, costs and benefits. All plans offer dental, vision and hearing benefits as well as fitness benefits through SilverSneakers.

In general, Aetna offers Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans (MAPDs), as well as stand-alone prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans without drug coverage. The company has expanded its Medicare Advantage plan for veterans — Aetna Medicare Eagle — to 43 states in 2024. The plan is designed to complement the health care coverage veterans receive from the VA.

Aetna also introduced Aetna Medicare SmartFit plans, which offer a fitness reimbursement benefit of $600 to $1,200 per year.

Plan availability may vary by county. Other plan offerings may include the following types:

A health maintenance organization (HMO) generally requires that you use a specific network of doctors and hospitals. You may need a referral from your primary doctor to see a specialist, and out-of-network benefits are usually limited.

HMO point-of-service plans give you a bit more flexibility than traditional HMO plans. While you do have a primary doctor and you may still need a referral, you have more freedom to see out-of-network providers, although you’ll pay more for out-of-network care.

Preferred provider organization (PPO) plans provide the most freedom, allowing you to see any provider that accepts the insurance. You may not need to choose a primary doctor, and you don’t need referrals to see specialists. You can seek out-of-network care, although it may cost more than seeing an in-network doctor.

Special needs plans (SNPs) restrict membership to people with certain diseases or characteristics. The benefits, network and drug formularies are tailored to the needs of those members. Aetna offers two types of SNPs:

  • Dual-Eligible SNP: For people who are entitled to Medicare and who also qualify for assistance from a state Medicaid program.

  • Institutional plans: Provide specialized care to members who live in skilled nursing or assisted living facilities and need an institutional level of care.

Aetna third-party ratings

A few companies weigh in on health plans or on the strength of the company in question, and we’ve included three here:

AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A (Excellent)

AM Best is a credit rating agency that specializes in the insurance industry. In March 2024, AM Best affirmed its Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) for Aetna Life Insurance Co. and the other operating entities of Aetna that are wholly owned subsidiaries of CVS Health. AM Best also affirmed its A (Excellent) FSR rating of Texas Health Aetna, as well as Allina Health, which is a joint venture with subsidiaries of Aetna Inc


An A rating in this category indicates that AM Best believes Aetna has an excellent ability to meet its ongoing insurance obligations.

J.D. Power Ranking

In its 2023 Medicare Advantage Study — the ninth it’s done so far — J.D. Power measured member satisfaction with Medicare Advantage plans based on eight factors ranging from level of trust to how well a provider resolves problems or complaints. The study was fielded in the five biggest Medicare markets, and here’s how Aetna ranked out of all major providers in the locations it offers plans


NCQA Score Range: 2.5 to 4.5 out of 5

The National Committee for Quality Assurance rates health insurance plans on a 5-point scale (with 5 being best) based on quality of care, patient satisfaction and health plans’ efforts to keep improving.

In its September 2023 ratings of Aetna plans, the NCQA awarded ratings between 2.5 and 4.5, with the majority receiving ratings of 3.5 or 4.0. Two plans received a rating of 2.5: Aetna Better Health Inc. in Louisiana and Aetna Health Inc. in Georgia

NCQA. Health Plans. Accessed Apr 11, 2024.

Aetna Medicare Advantage service area

Aetna offers Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans in 46 states and Washington, D.C.

Aetna expanded its Institutional Special Needs Plans (I-SNPs) into Ohio and New York and widened availability in Pennsylvania, and Aetna Medicare Eagle plans — veteran-specific Medicare Advantage offerings — are available in 43 states.

Aetna is the third-largest for-profit Medicare Advantage provider, with more than 3.8 million Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Aetna Medicare Advantage plans. The company added 544,000 members for the 2024 plan year, according to a report from health care analytics firm The Chartis Group


About Aetna

Founded in 1853, Aetna became a subsidiary of CVS Health Corp. in 2018. The company’s headquarters are in Hartford, Connecticut.

Aetna’s health insurance offerings include medical, dental and pharmacy plans. Aetna offers individual and group health insurance, including Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare prescription drug plans and Medicare Supplement Insurance.

Read the NerdWallet reviews of these other Aetna Medicare offerings:

Aetna customer service

Aetna Medicare Advantage members can contact customer service in a few ways:

Compare 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.

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 or call 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227, TTY 877-486-2048).

Medicare Advantage review methodology

The Medicare Advantage marketplace is concentrated among just a handful of companies; in many places, one insurer serves more than half of the market. NerdWallet reviewed 26 Medicare Advantage brands, with some insurers having more than one brand under their umbrella. (For example, Blue Cross Blue Shield includes the brands Anthem and Highmark.) At the national level, these reviews include nine of the 10 largest brands by enrollment. At the state level, our research includes at least one major insurer in 47 of the 49 states that offer Medicare Advantage plans, and includes the top two insurers in 35 of those states. (Alaska doesn't offer Medicare Advantage plans.) We also look at online search volume to identify regional and other notable players in the space.

NerdWallet’s Medicare Advantage reviews are based on ratings data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, as well as pricing, plan availability by state, plan types available, consumer experience, extra benefits offered and more. These reviews are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several plans to find the best coverage and rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines for additional information.

Still deciding on the right carrier? Compare Medicare Advantage plans