Medicare Advantage plans determine their rates in part based on what the government will allow. The Federal government, which sets the rates for the standard Medicare program, also has oversight on how much each Medigap and Medicare Advantage provider is allowed to charge their customers. Several companies applied for rate increases during the Obama administration and were denied. The rates, however, are in part based on how a company can make money successfully off these programs.
Medicare HMO policies often rely on a cost sharing model. In the cost sharing model a person pays higher deductibles in exchange for lower co-pays. Over the course of a year, this model can save a person hundreds of dollars, although it may result in higher out-of-pocket costs. The deductible costs charged by most providers are only slightly higher than those charged by standard Medicare. Once a person pays his deductible for the year, his Medicare Advantage coverage will take over and spare him the extra costs. Many plans include prescription drug coverage that is offered under Medicare Part D. Of course, there is another meaning of rate.
This question is one a person must decide for himself. Most people do not bother comparing different Medicare advantage plans to see which ones best suit a person’s needs. This type of rating is more difficult to achieve, although Consumer Reports and other advocacy groups often do place insurance companies, including companies that offer Medicare Advantage Plans up against one another. A Medicare recipient can also ask his friends to see if they had good or bad experiences with any given company. The solution may be far from perfect, but it is the best one available to a consumer