How to Find the Best Minnesota Medicare Advantage Plans

The best Medicare Advantage plan in Minnesota offers the benefits and coverage you need. MoneyGeek summarized the top-rated plans in Minnesota that are widely available with a broad range of benefits. We found that HealthPartners Journey Pace is the best PPO plan, and UCare Prime is the best HMO Medicare Advantage plan in Minnesota.

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Last Updated: 4/1/2022
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MoneyGeek used the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) five-star quality rating system to determine which Medicare Advantage plans are widely available in Minnesota with high ratings. Our comprehensive guide analyzes which plans are best based on plan type, whether you need drug coverage and to keep costs low with out-of-pocket limits.

Keep in mind that these are general recommendations. You should compare plans to figure out which Medicare Advantage plan best fits your needs. Doing this ensures that local hospitals and providers are within the network.

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Best Medicare Advantage Plans in Minnesota

Best Medicare Advantage Plan in Minnesota - Overall

The best Medicare Advantage plan in Minnesota addresses your needs. For MoneyGeek’s sample Minnesota Medicare Advantage shopper who wants a PPO plan with drug coverage, the six core benefits and a high star rating from the CMS, we found the best plan is HealthPartners Journey Pace from HealthPartners.

A preferred provider organization (PPO) is the second-most common healthcare plan type and offers several perks. It has a wider network, meaning you have more choices of hospitals, doctors and treatment centers. It also provides greater flexibility because you don’t need a referral to meet with a specialist. One downside is that you usually have to pay a higher premium.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
HealthPartners

According to MoneyGeek’s data, HealthPartners Journey Pace could be the best Medicare Advantage PPO plan in Minnesota, but your needs determine the best plan for you. Its details include:

  • No monthly premium
  • Enhanced drug coverage with a $300 deductible
  • An in-network max-out-of-pocket limit of $5,500 annually
  • A CMS rating of 5 out of 5

HealthPartners Journey Pace offers the six common additional benefits of vision, dental, hearing, fitness, worldwide emergency and telehealth, plus an over-the-counter drugs benefit. Having worldwide emergency coverage makes the plan a great option for travelers. The plan also receives a high rating from the CMS and offers Part D drug coverage.

Best HMO Medicare Advantage Plan in Minnesota

The best HMO Medicare Advantage plan in Minnesota depends on your individual healthcare needs. MoneyGeek found UCare Prime by UCare is often the best plan for a Minnesota buyer looking for an HMO Medicare Advantage plan with drug coverage, the six core benefits and a high star rating from the CMS.

A health maintenance organization or HMO is the most common plan type and tends to be cheaper compared to others like PPOs. Unless you’re in an emergency, an HMO requires you to stay within your network to make sure you get coverage. You also need a referral to see a specialist.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
UCare Minnesota

In Minnesota, UCare Prime may be the best option for an HMO Medicare Advantage plan, according to MoneyGeek. But remember, the best plan for you depends on your needs and preferences. If you purchase UCare Prime, it includes:

  • No monthly premium
  • Drug coverage with a $480 deductible
  • An in-network max-out-of-pocket limit of $6,000 a year
  • A perfect 5 out of 5 overall star rating from CMS

UCare Prime provides the six common benefits: vision, dental, hearing, fitness, worldwide emergency and telehealth. The plan also includes an over-the-counter drugs benefit and Part D drug coverage alongside its high rating from the CMS.

Best Medicare Advantage Plan in Minnesota Without Drug Coverage

If you don’t need Part D prescription drug coverage, there are more Medicare Advantage healthcare plan options in Minnesota.

MoneyGeek found that UCare Value Plus by UCare is the best plan without drug coverage that offers at least six core benefits and a high star rating from the CMS.

You may also consider HealthPartners Journey Pace by HealthPartners. It’s a PPO plan that is highly rated by the CMS and has the six benefits while including drug coverage, whether you need it or not.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
UCare Minnesota

Our analysis found that UCare Value Plus, an HMO, might be the best option in Minnesota for individuals that want a Medicare Advantage plan without drug coverage. With this plan, you get the following:

  • No monthly premium
  • A $5,500 in-network max-out-of-pocket annual limit
  • A 5 out of 5 CMS rating

UCare Value Plus receives a high rating from the CMS and includes the six common benefits of vision, dental, hearing, fitness, worldwide emergency and telehealth, plus an over-the-counter drugs benefit.

MoneyGeek also recommends HealthPartners Journey Pace for people who do not need prescription drug coverage in their Medicare Advantage plan, although the plan does include it. This PPO plan features:

  • No monthly premium
  • A $5,500 in-network annual out-of-pocket maximum
  • CMS rating of 5 out of 5

You get a highly rated CMS plan and the six benefits you should expect from a Medicare Advantage plan in Minnesota: dental, vision, hearing, fitness, worldwide emergency and telehealth. It also includes an over-the-counter drugs benefit.

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

Even though many Medicare Advantage plans have low or no premiums, you may need to pay for expenses out of pocket, which can reach thousands a year.

In Minnesota, MoneyGeek found HealthPartners Journey Stride by HealthPartners might be ideal for a Minnesota shopper who wants a Medicare Advantage plan with a low in-network max-out-of-pocket (MOOP) limit, drug coverage, six core benefits and a high star rating from the CMS.

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MoneyGeek Top Pick
HealthPartners

Regardless of whether you need a Medicare Advantage plan with or without drug coverage, MoneyGeek finds HealthPartners Journey Stride may be the best option in Minnesota to keep your costs low. We did not include health plans with a high max-out-of-pocket limit in this analysis. If you purchase HealthPartners Journey Stride, you can expect the following:

  • A monthly premium of $51
  • An in-network max-out-of-pocket limit of $3,900 annually
  • A perfect overall star rating from the CMS (5/5)

If you have significant expenses for healthcare needs in a given year, having a low MOOP limit may help you save money. When you reach your $3,900 max-out-of-pocket limit with HealthPartners Journey Stride, HealthPartners pays all in-network charges.

HealthPartners Journey Stride is a PPO plan. That means your max-out-of-pocket limit for coverage outside your network is different, costing $6,000 a year.

Medicare Advantage Plan in Minnesota - Statistics

There are 11 different healthcare organizations that offer Medicare Advantage plans in Minnesota. MoneyGeek compiled statistics below to demonstrate whether Medicare Advantage plan components in Minnesota are rare or common.

1

Minnesota Medicare Advantage plans are a mix of HMO, PPO, MSA, Cost and PFFS, with 67.9% offering drug coverage

More than 54% of Medicare Advantage plans in Minnesota are preferred provider organization (PPO) plans. Health maintenance organization (HMO) plans amount to 23.3%, 14.8% are Cost plans, 6.8% are medical savings account (MSA) plans and .7% are private fee-for-service plans. In Minnesota, 67.9% of plans offer drug coverage.

2

26% of Medicare Advantage plans in Minnesota have a $0 premium

Planholders pay a $0 premium in Minnesota on 26% of Medicare Advantage plans. For plans that do require a monthly premium, the average cost is $91.10.

3

Hearing, telehealth and fitness benefits are common in Minnesota, with most plans offering them

Medicare Advantage plans offer several benefits. The three most common in Minnesota are hearing, telehealth and fitness. The rarest benefits in Minnesota are emergency response device, transportation and in-home support.

Methodology

MoneyGeek collected data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 2022 MA Landscape Source Files released in October 2021. Plans in Minnesota 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 Minnesota 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.