Medicare Advantage Plans Boston

Wondering how to select the right Medicare Advantage plan in Boston for your healthcare needs? With over a hundred Medicare Advantage plans in Boston available, it’s crucial to find one that fits your lifestyle and budget.

In this guide, we’ll cover the leading providers, plan types, and what to consider regarding costs, benefits, and networks. Discover the essentials for comparing Medicare Advantage plans in Boston and get the clarity you need to make an informed choice.


Key Takeaways

  • Boston offers a diverse selection of Medicare Advantage plans, with 110 plans available known for their range of services, which include preventative care, emergency services, and inpatient and outpatient treatment, but plan benefits and quality can vary significantly.



  • Medicare Advantage plans in Boston not only offer standard health coverages but also additional benefits such as vision, hearing, dental, and wellness programs at no extra cost, with enrollment open during designated periods and through Special Enrollment Periods triggered by qualifying life events.

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Boston’s Medicare Advantage Plan Landscape


Medicare Advantage Plans Boston 2025, Boston's Medicare Advantage Plan Landscape


The world of Medicare Advantage in Boston is diverse and abundant with choices. With as many as 110 Medicare Advantage plans available to Boston residents, navigating this landscape can feel like traversing a maze without a map. But knowing the lay of the land can make all the difference.

These plans, offered by Medicare-approved private insurance companies, provide a valuable alternative to Original Medicare. They cover a wide range of services including:

  • Preventative care


  • Lab tests


  • Emergency services


  • Inpatient and outpatient treatment


among others.

But it’s important to remember that not all Medicare Advantage plans are created equal. To truly reap the benefits of these plans, you need to consider the overall benefits they provide.

Some of the services that Medicare Advantage plans may offer include:

  • Hospital stays


  • Doctor’s visits


  • Mental health services


  • Physical and occupational therapy


Each plan offers a unique combination of services that cater to your specific health needs.


Leading Providers of Medicare Advantage Plans in Boston


Medicare Advantage Plans Boston 2025


When it comes to providers of Medicare Advantage plans in Boston, three names stand out – UnitedHealthcare, Humana, and Tufts Health Plan.

UnitedHealthcare, with its top CMS rating, offers five-star Medicare Advantage plans in Massachusetts, making it a preferred choice for many Bostonians. Humana and Tufts Health Plan aren’t far behind, providing four-and-a-half-star rated Medicare Advantage plans.

Tufts Health Plan is recognized for its strong presence and high-quality plans in the Massachusetts Medicare Advantage market.

The presence of these leading providers ensures that Boston residents have diverse and competitive plan choices, empowering them to choose a plan that best aligns with their health needs.


Popular Plan Types for Boston Residents

Residents in Boston have access to a variety of Medicare Advantage plans, such as:


  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)



  • Special Needs Plans (SNP)


These plans offer different options for healthcare coverage, but some may provide the same coverage. Each plan type offers different levels of provider flexibility and coverage options.

For example, the different types of health insurance plans include:

  • HMO plan: requires members to utilize healthcare providers within the plan’s network


  • PPO plan: offers more flexibility, allowing members to receive care from both in-network and out-of-network providers


  • PFFS plan: gives members the freedom to choose any healthcare provider who accepts the plan’s payment terms


  • SNP plan: designed to serve individuals with specific diseases or characteristics, such as End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)


A variant of HMOs available in Boston, the HMO-POS plan, provides a middle ground, offering plan members the option to connect with healthcare providers both inside and outside the plan’s network.

Evaluating Medicare Advantage Plans in Boston: What to Look For


Medicare Advantage Plans Boston 2025, Evaluating Medicare Advantage Plans in Boston: What to Look For


Choosing a Medicare Advantage plan involves a careful evaluation of various factors. To compare Medicare Advantage plans effectively, consider the following aspects:

  • Plan ratings


  • Benefits


  • Costs


  • Provider networks


With 110 different Medicare Advantage plans accessible to Massachusetts residents, making the right choice can be challenging. By focusing on these factors, you can narrow down your options and find a plan that best meets your healthcare needs.

One of the key factors to consider is the plan’s rating. Medicare Advantage plans are rated by CMS on a scale from one to five stars, with the rating reflecting the quality and performance of each plan.

A higher rating indicates a higher quality of service, making it a crucial factor in your decision-making process.

Additionally, consider the affordability of the plans. Many Medicare-eligible individuals in Massachusetts can select from Medicare Advantage plans that have a $0 premium, offering affordability to consumers.


Costs and Premiums

The average monthly premium for a Medicare Advantage plan in Massachusetts is $37.53 in 2024. This makes it an affordable option for many residents. Furthermore, the average enrollment-weighted premium for Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage (MA-PDs) in Massachusetts is $15 per month, and for the Part D portion, it is $10 per month.

For those who pay a premium, the average monthly premium is $57, with the Part D portion averaging $38 per month.

While the premiums certainly matter, it’s also important to take note of the out-of-pocket costs. The average out-of-pocket limit for Medicare Advantage enrollees in Massachusetts is $4,835 for in-network services and $8,659 for combined in-network and out-of-network services. By carefully assessing all out-of-pocket costs, including premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance, and comparing them with your budget, you can ensure that you choose a plan that is financially feasible for you.


Provider Networks


Medicare Advantage Plans Boston 2025, Evaluating Medicare Advantage Plans in Boston: What to Look For


Medicare Advantage provider networks play a significant role in your healthcare journey. In Massachusetts, provider networks vary greatly across counties and plans within the same county, with an average of less than half (46%) of all physicians in a county included in these networks.

This variation impacts the number of physicians enrollees can access and is particularly noticeable for specialists such as psychiatrists.

These variations can pose challenges when selecting a suitable plan and seeking care. It’s crucial to ensure that your preferred doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies are included within the plan’s network.

Also, understand the conditions attached to out-of-network visits. By considering the size and breadth of provider networks, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your healthcare needs.


Prescription Drug Coverage

Prescription drug coverage, which includes prescription drugs, is another crucial factor to consider when choosing a Medicare Advantage plan. In Massachusetts, most Medicare Advantage plans offer prescription drug coverage, which is a substantial benefit for enrollees.

In fact, every Medicare enrollee in Massachusetts has access to a Medicare Advantage Plan with zero monthly premium that may include prescription drug coverage.

When selecting a plan, it’s essential to check if your regular prescription medications are covered and to understand related costs, such as any applicable copays.

The average monthly premium for the Medicare Advantage plans’ Part D coverage in Boston is significantly lower than standalone prescription drug plans, offering lower or no additional premiums for prescription drug coverage in Massachusetts.

Tufts Health Plan, for instance, is known for providing excellent Medicare Advantage plans with impressive prescription drug coverage and member experience in Massachusetts.

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Enrollment Periods and Eligibility Requirements for Boston Residents


Medicare Advantage Plans Boston 2025, Enrollment Periods and Eligibility Requirements for Boston Residents


To enroll in Medicare Advantage plans in Boston, residents must meet specific eligibility requirements. These include:

  • Having both Medicare Part A and Part B


  • Residing in the plan’s service area


  • Generally, not being eligible if they have End-Stage Renal Disease, though there are some exceptions


  • Being over the age of 65 or having a qualifying disability


  • Being a U.S. citizen or legal resident.


You can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during designated enrollment periods. If you’re already receiving benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board at least 4 months before turning 65, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B starting the first day of the month you turn 65.

On the other hand, if you’re not automatically enrolled through these benefits, you must sign up during a 7-month Initial Enrollment Period that surrounds your 65th birthday.


Initial Enrollment Period

The Initial Enrollment Period for Medicare Advantage plans in Massachusetts begins three months before you turn 65, includes the month of your birthday, and extends for three months afterward, totaling seven months. This period gives you ample time to assess your options and make an informed decision.

If you’re under 65 and have a qualifying disability, you’re eligible for Medicare Advantage after receiving Social Security Disability Insurance payments for 24 months. Your Initial Enrollment Period starts three months before your 25th month of receiving SSDI benefits.


Special Enrollment Periods

In addition to the Initial Enrollment Period, there are Special Enrollment Periods that allow you to enroll or change your Medicare Advantage plan outside of regular enrollment periods due to specific qualifying circumstances.

Qualifying circumstances include events such as:

  • job loss and health coverage cessation


  • relocating to an area with different Medicare Advantage options


  • changes in household size like getting married or having a child


After a qualifying event, you have a 60-day window to choose a new Medicare Advantage plan or modify your current plan.

During a Special Enrollment Period, the coverage typically begins the first day of the month after enrollment if signed up by the 23rd of the month, with certain exceptions for immediate or retroactive coverage circumstances.

Extra Benefits Offered by Boston-Area Medicare Advantage Plans


Medicare Advantage Plans Boston 2025, Extra Benefits Offered by Boston-Area Medicare Advantage Plans


One of the major draws of New England Medicare Advantage plans in the Boston area is the additional benefits they offer beyond traditional Medicare. These benefits include:

  • Vision


  • Hearing


  • Dental


  • Wellness programs


And the best part is, they come at no extra cost.

Specific additional Medicare benefits that may be included in Boston-area Medicare Advantage plans are:

  • Prescription drug coverage


  • Routine hearing, vision, dental exams


  • Fitness club memberships


  • Over-the-counter benefits


  • Transportation


These extra benefits enhance the value of the plans, making them a preferred choice for many Boston residents.

Navigating Medicare Resources in Boston

Medicare Advantage Plans Boston 2025

Navigating the Medicare landscape can feel like sailing in uncharted waters. Boston residents have access to several resources that can make this journey a lot smoother.

For example, the Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone (SHINE) Program provides free health insurance information and counseling to Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers in Massachusetts.

It is a valuable resource for those seeking assistance with understanding and navigating the complexities of health insurance.

SHINE counselors can assist with understanding the benefits and options available for those with Medicare or who are about to become eligible. They also review programs that help people with limited income to pay for healthcare costs.

Another resource is the Massachusetts Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Program, which educates and counsels Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries on preventing, detecting, and reporting healthcare errors, fraud, and abuse.

Tips for Choosing the Right Medicare Advantage Plan in Boston

Choosing the right Medicare Advantage plan isn’t just about analyzing the facts and figures. It’s about understanding your unique healthcare needs and preferences and aligning them with the right plan. For instance, if you prefer a specific doctor or hospital, ensure they are included within your plan’s network.

Carefully assess all out-of-pocket costs, including premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance, and compare them with your budget. Verify the coverage of your current prescription medications within the plan and acquaint yourself with the plan’s coverage rules and drug tiers.

Also, look for innovative benefits and routine coverage for additional services like dental, vision, hearing, and wellness programs, alongside benefits like gym memberships and transportation.

And most importantly, don’t hesitate to seek help from a licensed Medicare specialist to navigate the best Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Advantage plan options effectively.


Choosing a Medicare Advantage plan is no small task. It requires careful consideration of various factors, including plan ratings, provider networks, costs, and prescription drug coverage.

It’s essential to understand the enrollment periods and eligibility requirements and to take advantage of the resources available in Boston to help navigate your options.

Remember, the right Medicare Advantage plan for you is the one that best fits your healthcare needs and financial situation.


Frequently Asked Questions


→  How much does a Medicare Advantage plan cost in Massachusetts?

In 2023, the average cost of a Medicare Advantage plan in Massachusetts is $44.26 per month. There are 110 Medicare Advantage plans available in the state for this year.


→  What are the 4 types of Medicare Advantage plans?

The 3 types of Medicare Advantage plans are Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Plan, Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plan, Special Needs Plans (SNPs), and Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) Plan.

These plans offer different coverage options for Medicare beneficiaries.


  How many Medicare Advantage plans are available to Boston residents?

As of now, there are 110 Medicare Advantage plans available to Boston residents.


  What are some of the leading providers of Medicare Advantage plans in Boston?

Some of the leading providers of Medicare Advantage plans in Boston are UnitedHealthcare, Humana, and Tufts Health Plan. These are popular options for Medicare Advantage coverage.


 What factors should I consider when choosing a Medicare Advantage plan?

When choosing a Medicare Advantage plan, consider factors like plan ratings, benefits, costs, and provider networks. These are crucial in determining the best plan for your needs.

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Russell Noga
( Medicare Expert )

Russell Noga is the CEO of ZRN Health & Financial Services, and head content editor of several Medicare insurance online publications. He has over 15 years of experience as a licensed Medicare insurance broker helping Medicare beneficiaries learn about Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans, Medigap insurance, and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans.