How to Find the Best Iowa Medicare Advantage Plans

Your specific health requirements and budget can guide your search for the best Medicare Advantage plans in Iowa with the strongest benefits and coverage. AARP Medicare Advantage Choice Plan 1 (PPO) is the best PPO plan in Iowa, while AARP Medicare Advantage Plan 2 (HMO-POS) is the state’s best HMO plan, according to MoneyGeek's review of the top-rated policies.

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Last Updated: 9/23/2022
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Using the five-star quality rating system employed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), MoneyGeek identified the best-rated, most widely available plans in Iowa. We selected the best Medicare Advantage plans in Iowa based on plan type, drug coverage requirements and low out-of-pocket expenditures.

MoneyGeek's suggestions are just generalizations. To find a Medicare Advantage plan that meets your needs, shop around and make sure that the hospitals and providers in your network are part of the plan as well.

If you're not looking for a Medicare Advantage plan but want to cover out-of-pocket costs that your base Medicare plan doesn't cover, MoneyGeek also ranked the best Medicare Supplement Plans in Iowa.

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Best Medicare Advantage Plan in Iowa - Overall

The best Medicare Advantage Plan for each individual differs based on their unique demands. Per MoneyGeek's analysis, UnitedHealthcare's AARP Medicare Advantage Choice Plan 1 (PPO) is the best option for an Iowa consumer searching for a PPO plan with drug coverage, six core benefits and a high CMS star rating.

PPO plans are the second-most common in the state and have a bigger network. Using these plans, you can receive healthcare services from in-network and out-of-network doctors and specialists without a referral. However, this flexibility generally makes the plans pricier.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
AARP

According to MoneyGeek, the top PPO plan in Iowa is AARP Medicare Advantage Choice Plan 1 (PPO). However, the best policy for you may depends on your individual needs, so you may find a different plan tailored to your specific requirements.

The following are AARP Medicare Advantage Choice Plan 1's (PPO) highlights:

  • No monthly premium
  • Prescription drug coverage with a $0 deductible
  • In-network maximum out-of-pocket payment of $3,900
  • A 4 out of 5 star rating from CMS

The plan contains all six of the most often purchased supplemental benefits: vision, dental, hearing, fitness, worldwide emergency and telehealth. Additionally, it received a high rating from CMS and provides Part D drug coverage. This plan is also the ideal option for travelers, which covers worldwide emergencies.

Consider your own situation when choosing a health insurance plan. Based on your unique needs, AARP Medicare Advantage Choice Plan 1 (PPO) may not make an ideal fit.

Best HMO Medicare Advantage Plan in Iowa

When deciding on an HMO Medicare Advantage Plan, consider your specific healthcare needs. The AARP Medicare Advantage Plan 2 (HMO-POS) from UnitedHealthcare is the best option for an average Iowa shopper looking for an HMO plan with drug coverage, six core benefits and a high star rating from CMS.

HMO plans are less expensive but only cover care from in-network hospitals and doctors. If needed, your primary care physician will refer you to an in-network specialist. These plans only cover out-of-network services in emergencies. They best suit individuals with easy access to in-network providers.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
AARP

The best option for the health insurance customers in Iowa is AARP Medicare Advantage Plan 2 (HMO-POS). This insurance plan includes the following benefits:

  • No monthly premium
  • Drug coverage with no deductible
  • An in-network max-out-of-pocket limit of $3,700
  • An excellent 5-star rating from CMS

AARP Medicare Advantage Plan 2 (HMO-POS) in Iowa delivers the six most common additional benefits: vision, hearing, fitness, dental, worldwide emergency and telehealth, as well as Part D drug coverage and emergency response systems. Plus, the plan received an excellent rating from CMS.

Best Medicare Advantage Plan in Iowa Without Drug Coverage

Individuals not in need of Part D prescription drug coverage as part of their Medicare Advantage plan have many options to consider. The AARP Medicare Advantage Plan 2 (HMO-POS) from UnitedHealthcare is the best Medicare Advantage plan in Iowa without drug coverage. It offers six core benefits and has a good CMS star rating, making it one of the best Medicare Advantage plans in the state.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
AARP

Per our analysis, AARP Medicare Advantage Plan 2 (HMO-POS) from UnitedHealthcare is the best option for Iowans — regardless of whether or not they need prescription coverage. Its main features include:

  • No monthly premium
  • An in-network max-out-of-pocket limit of $3,700
  • An excellent 5 out of 5 rating from CMS

The plan comes with the most common core benefits including vision, dental, fitness, hearing, telehealth and worldwide emergency. It also received an outstanding rating from CMS.

Best Medicare Advantage Plan in Iowa for Low Max Out-of-Pocket Costs

Many Medicare Advantage plans have little or no premiums but may come with high out-of-pocket expenses reaching hundreds or thousands of dollars. Avoid these costs by selecting a plan with a low maximum out-of-pocket cost.

MoneyGeek found that UnitedHealthcare's AARP Medicare Advantage Choice Plan 1 (PPO) has the lowest maximum out-of-pocket costs for Iowans. The plan, which received a high overall rating from CMS, also offers six core benefits and prescription coverage.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
AARP

Excluding plans with high maximum out-of-pocket costs, MoneyGeek found that UnitedHealthcare's AARP Medicare Advantage Choice Plan 1 (PPO) is the best option for Iowans seeking low out-of-pocket cost plans with or without prescription coverage. Here's what you may expect if you go with this option:

  • No monthly premium
  • An in-network max out-of-pocket limit of $3,900
  • A 4 out of 5 rating from CMS

A medical expense plan with a low maximum out-of-pocket limit can help you avoid hefty medical bills, especially if have extremely high medical expenses. When you reach the maximum $3,900 out-of-pocket premium, AARP Medicare Advantage Choice Plan 1 (PPO) begins covering in-network costs. As a PPO plan, the maximum out-of-pocket price for out-of-network coverages is $6,700.

Medicare Advantage Plan in Iowa - Statistics

When it comes to Medicare Advantage plans, residents in Iowa have 10 different healthcare organizations to consider. We explore some plans' components in the following section. Knowing these numbers can assist you in evaluating the availability of specific coverages and benefits.

1

The Medicare Advantage Plans in Iowa are a mix of Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans, with 75.2% of plans having drug coverage.

Plan types that fall under the PPO category constitute the majority of Medicare Advantage plans in Iowa. HMO plans are also available, accounting for around 24.6% of all plans available to consumers. In the state, 75.2% of plans include prescription drug coverage.

2

In Iowa, 44% of Medicare Advantage Plans do not charge a premium.

In Iowa, you can choose from 26 different plans without paying a premium. This represents 44% of all Medicare Advantage Plans available in the market. By contrast, the remaining 56% require a monthly premium, which averages to $61.10.

3

Hearing, vision and worldwide emergency benefits are available in the majority of Medicare Advantage plans in Iowa.

Hearing, vision and worldwide emergency are the three most common benefits covered by Medicare Advantage Plans in Iowa. All plans including hearing coverage, with 97% of plans including the other two. The most rare benefits relate to home safety devices and modifications and in-home support. Customers may need to shop around for policies that provide these benefits.

Methodology

MoneyGeek collected data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 2022 MA Landscape Source Files released in October 2021. Plans in Iowa were filtered down to those that offer drug coverage (unless otherwise noted), offer six of the most common Medicare Advantage coverage benefits and are available to at least 50% of the population of Iowa based on county availability.

About the Author


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Mark Fitzpatrick is a senior content manager with MoneyGeek specializing in insurance. Mark has years of experience analyzing the insurance market and creating original research and content. He graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts and Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Arts.