How to Find the Best Texas Medicare Advantage Plans

The best Medicare Advantage Plan in Texas depends on your specific needs for benefits and coverage. MoneyGeek summarized plans that received strong ratings along with the most widely available policies and plans offering the most benefits. Based on our analysis, the best PPO plan is AARP Medicare Advantage Choice from UnitedHealthcare, while the best HMO plan is Cigna's Preferred Medicare plan.

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Last Updated: 4/2/2022
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MoneyGeek determined the most widely available Medicare Advantage plans in Texas based on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) five-star quality rating system.

We analyzed policies based on several categories, including the type of plan, drug coverage availability and out-of-pocket cost limits. The recommendations in this study are generalizations — you will need to shop for a plan that meets your specific requirements. Always make sure to confirm the hospitals and providers within the network of plans that you purchase.

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Best Medicare Advantage Plans in Texas

Best Medicare Advantage Plan in Texas - Overall

Your healthcare needs and preferences will determine the best Medicare Advantage plan in Texas for you. Based on our research, AARP Medicare Advantage Choice from UnitedHealthcare is the best plan for buyers looking for a PPO plan with drug coverage, a high score from CMS and the six core benefits.

PPO plans provide a wider network of doctors and hospitals but typically carry a higher price tag. These plans offer increased flexibility and do not require you to receive a referral to see a specialist.

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AARP

While the best PPO Medicare Advantage plan may vary across buyers, AARP Medicare Advantage Choice from UnitedHealthcare received the top rank for PPO plans in Texas.

AARP Medicare Advantage Choice has the following components:

  • No monthly premium
  • Includes drug coverage with an annual deductible of $255
  • An in-network max out-of-pocket limit of $5,900
  • An overall CMS star rating of 4 out of 5

The AARP Medicare Advantage Choice plan has the six core benefits — telehealth, worldwide emergency, fitness, vision, dental and hearing — along with an emergency response benefit. The company received a strong CMS rating and provides Part D drug coverage with an annual deductible of $255. Worldwide emergency benefits make this plan ideal for frequent travelers.

Best HMO Medicare Advantage Plan in Texas

The best HMO Medicare Advantage plan in Texas varies based on your specific healthcare needs. Buyers who wish to purchase an HMO plan with a high CMS score, the six core benefits and drug coverage can consider the Cigna Preferred Medicare as the best option.

HMO plans are usually cheaper than PPO plans. However, these plans require you to have a referral before seeing a specialist. You will also need to stay within your provider's network, unless you have an emergency.

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Cigna Medicare

The Cigna Preferred Medicare plan may be the best for you, depending on your healthcare needs. However, according to our research, it is the best Medicare Advantage policy in Texas for customers looking for an HMO plan. These plans include the following features:

  • No monthly premium
  • Drug coverage with an annual deductible of $190
  • An in-network max out-of-pocket limit of $3,400
  • Overall star rating of 4.5 out of 5 from CMS

The Cigna Preferred Medicare (HMO) plan delivers eight benefits, which include the six core types plus transportation and over the counter benefits. The common benefits are dental, hearing, vision, fitness, transportation, telehealth and worldwide emergency, which is essential for travelers. It also has Part D drug coverage and received a 4.5 score from CMS.

Best Medicare Advantage Plan in Texas Without Drug Coverage

If you do not need Part D drug coverage, you can still find a wide array of the best Medicare Advantage plans in Texas. Based on MoneyGeek's analysis, the best plan in the state with or without drug coverage that received a high star rating from the CMS and delivers core benefits is AARP Medicare Advantage Patriot (HMO-POS) from UnitedHealthcare.

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AARP

AARP Medicare Advantage Patriot (HMO-POS) from UnitedHealthcare is the best plan in Texas for buyers who need a good plan, regardless of whether it has drug coverage. This plan offers:

  • No monthly premium
  • Drug coverage
  • An in-network max out-of-pocket limit of $5,400
  • A 5 out of 5 overall star rating from CMS

Along with the high CMS rating, UnitedHealthcare's AARP Medicare Advantage Patriot (HMO-POS) also has Part D drug coverage and the six common additional benefits: worldwide emergency, vision, telehealth, dental, hearing and fitness.

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

MoneyGeek also analyzed the best Medicare Advantage plans in Texas that feature low or no premiums. Such plans often feature higher out-of-pocket costs. Based on our analysis, Aetna Medicare Choice Plan (PPO) is the best plan for Texans seeking plans with low max out-of-pocket limits, drug coverage, six common benefits and a high rating from the CMS.

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Aetna Medicare

From our findings, the Aetna Medicare Choice Plan (PPO) is the best if you want a plan that has low max out-of-pocket limits, even if it doesn’t have drug coverage. This plan features the following:

  • No monthly premium
  • Drug coverage with a $300 annual deductible
  • An in-network max out-of-pocket limit of $5,000
  • Overall CMS star rating of 3 out of 5

A plan with a low max out-of-pocket limit shields you from high health expenses since you won’t need to pay more than the in-network max out-of-pocket limit of $5,000. However, PPO plans have a different max out-of-pocket limit for out-of-network coverage, and you will pay about $11,300.

Medicare Advantage Plan in Texas - Statistics

In Texas, Medicare Advantage plans are available across 26 healthcare organizations. The statistics provided below about Medicare Advantage in Texas highlight the common and rare components for most plans.

You can use the information for a sense of which plans are widely available in the state.

1

Texas Medicare Advantage Plans are a mix of Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Private-Fee-For-Service (PFFS) and Medical Savings Account (MSA) plans, with 60.6% offering drug coverage

The biggest percentage of Medicare Advantage plans in Texas are PPO plans, followed by HMO plans. MSA and PFFS plans make up 23.7% and 0.8%, respectively. In Texas, 60.6% of plans include drug coverage.

2

In Texas, 73% of Medicare Advantage Plans have a $0 premium

There are 98 plans in Texas with a $0 premium, which is 73% of the Medicare Advantage plans available in the state. Conversely, 27% of the plans in Texas have a monthly premium, at an average of $72.30.

3

Hearing and telehealth are the most common benefits in Texas, with most plans offering them

The most common benefits on Medicare Advantage plans in Texas are hearing and telehealth. Meanwhile, in-home support and home safety devices and modifications are the least common.

Methodology

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