How to Choose Your Medicare Advantage Plan

Open enrollment ends on December 7!

Deciding which Medicare Advantage plan will fit your needs isn’t easy — and it can be a critical decision. 

Take Sheereen Aarif’s story: She’s a Humana member who lives outside of Atlanta and suffers from congestive heart failure, COPD, and AFIB. For the most part, her conditions were under control, and she’d been thriving. Then, in late 2020, her health took a turn for the worse. “As long as I’m in control, I can handle anything,” says Aarif. “But when this happened, I didn’t feel in control.” 

She was in and out of the hospital a few times, but doctors couldn’t diagnose the problem. That’s when Rhonda Deckard, Aarif’s care coordinator and a registered nurse available to help her through her Humana Medicare Advantage PPO plan, stepped in. The nurse suspected that a heart-rate drug Aarif recently started taking may have been interacting negatively with her other medications. So, she connected Aarif with a Humana Pharmacy pharmacist (who confirmed a potential drug interaction), then helped her reach out to her doctor. Once her doctor prescribed a different medication, “everything just started coming together,” says Aarif. “That conversation changed my life.” 

It’s moments like this — when professional care meets compassion — that reflect the benefits of Medicare Advantage plans, and the importance of choosing one that’s right for you. 

Since picking a plan can be a complicated process, here’s some crucial elements to consider when you’re making your decision. 

When does Medicare Advantage Annual Open Enrollment begin?

The annual Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plan annual enrollment period lasts seven weeks (Oct. 15-Dec. 7). That’s when you can join a plan that will cover your needs in 2022. 

What are the benefits of enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan? 

During open enrollment, you can join a plan that has multiple life-saving benefits, one that: 

  • Is designed to support your health and well-being at a reasonable cost
  • Offers benefits traditional Medicare doesn’t (like prescription, dental, and vision coverage)
  • Includes extra perks (like gym memberships, mail-delivery pharmacies, and other wellness benefits)

How do I know which Medicare plan is right for me? 

There are so many available plans, which makes choosing the right plan no simple feat. Fortunately, there are tons of resources to help ensure you have all the information you need to enroll in a plan for 2022.

We recommend starting your research using the following sites:

If you prefer a more collaborative experience, some insurance companies and nonprofit organizations offer interactive online educational information, events and webinars. There’s also a “live chat” feature at Medicare.gov where you can have your questions answered directly by a professional. 

Who should I talk to help make my decision? 

Most insurers offer customers the opportunity to meet one-one-one with a licensed sales agent in person, on the phone, or virtually. They can explain the details of their plans and answer your questions in real time. A quick internet search will also provide you with plenty of other resources. (For your safety, many companies including Humana are requiring employed sales agents to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19*, just in case you’d like to meet in person.) 

Take some time to review Medicare’s official website 

Another critical resource is the Medicare Plan Finder on the Medicare.gov website. There you can:

  • Compare plans and benefits
  • Get an estimated cost for each plan
  • Look into Medicare Part D, which helps cover the cost of prescription medications, and even enter the names of prescription medications you already take, to ensure they’re covered by the plan you’re considering
  • Visit individual insurance-company websites to understand what they offer
  • Check whether your primary care physician or other providers are in-network with the Medicare Advantage plan.
  • And, finally, you enroll in your plan

*Medical and religious exemptions will be available and considered on a case-by-case basis.

Humana is a Medicare Advantage [HMO, HMO SNP, PPO, PPO SNP and PFFS] organization with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any Humana plan depends on contract renewal.