Best Medicare Advantage Plans California 2025

Discovering the best medicare advantage plans california 2025 starts right here. California has new plan changes and anticipated premiums leading to greater affordability and coverage.

This primer sorts through the multitude of options to focus on top-rated plans characterized by quality, cost-efficiency, and customer satisfaction–equipping you with the essential facts to make a well-informed choice.


Key Takeaways

  • In 2025, California Medicare beneficiaries can choose from a substantial variety of Medicare Advantage plans, provided by 32 different firms, regulated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which offer expanded mental health services and low average monthly premiums.



  • Cost efficiency is a key factor for Medicare beneficiaries in California, with the availability of zero-premium plans and affordable plan options from providers like Alignment Health Plan, Aetna, and SCAN Health Plan, which do not compromise on service quality.

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Navigating Medicare Advantage Plans in California for 2025

New horizons await Medicare Advantage plans in California in 2025. Starting January 1, 2025, the following changes will take place:


  • Marriage & family therapists and mental health counselors will be included in the Medicare fold, widening the range of mental health care services available to beneficiaries.
  • An impressive 33% of Medicare beneficiaries will have access to at least 50 Medicare Advantage plans, a significant leap from just 1% in 2019.
  • There is a projected average monthly premium of just $16.24, making Medicare Advantage plans an attractive option for many California residents.


California’s average Medicare beneficiary can choose from 43 plans provided by 8 different firms, out of 465 best Medicare Advantage plans on offer. To qualify, individuals must:


  • Have Medicare Part A and Part B
  • Reside within the plan’s service area
  • Meet any additional eligibility criteria outlined by the Medicare Advantage companies


With a total of 32 providers offering Medicare Advantage plans in California, the landscape is rich with options, all regulated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. This ensures that beneficiaries not only have a wide choice but also the assurance of quality and compliance.


Spotlight on High-Performing Medicare Advantage Plans

Given the abundance of Medicare Advantage plans in California, identifying the high-performers can be challenging. One could start by considering plans with high CMS star ratings and comprehensive health coverage, like Sharp Health Plan and Kaiser Permanente.


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These plans offer an impressive array of services, all backed by solid ratings from CMS, reflecting their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.

Sharp Health Plan, for instance, offers two high-performing Medicare Advantage HMO plans – the Sharp Direct Advantage Gold Card and Sharp Direct Advantage Platinum Card. These plans come with an array of services, earning them high ratings from CMS.

Similarly, Kaiser Permanente, a renowned name in the healthcare industry, offers plans with high CMS star ratings, making them an excellent choice for those seeking comprehensive health coverage.


Leading Plans with Top CMS Star Ratings

High CMS star ratings signify the quality and performance of a Medicare Advantage plan. Leading the pack in California are:


  • Sharp Health Plan with a stellar 4.5-star rating
  • Aetna with a 4-star rating
  • Alignment Health Plan with a 4-star rating
  • Humana with a 4-star rating


But what garners these plans such high ratings?

Sharp Health Plan’s 4.5-star rating is a result of its comprehensive range of services, including:


  • Medical coverage
  • Vision coverage
  • Hearing coverage
  • Dental coverage
  • Health coaching
  • Fitness resources
  • Over-the-counter benefits
  • Worldwide emergency care
  • Urgent care


Sharp Health Plan leaves no stone unturned in its quest to provide top-notch services.

Aetna’s Medicare Advantage plans, on the other hand, achieved a 4-star rating through the enhanced overall Star Rating of their National PPO contract. Similarly, Alignment Health Plan’s sustained 4-star rating reflects its consistent above-average performance in CMS evaluations over the years.


Plans Offering Comzprehensive Health Coverage

Although high star ratings matter, the comprehensiveness of health coverage also plays a pivotal role in selecting a Medicare Advantage plan. These plans offer robust benefits, including prescription drug coverage, dental and vision services, and wellness programs, providing beneficiaries with well-rounded healthcare coverage.

Prescription drug coverage is typically incorporated into most Medicare Advantage plans. In case a plan doesn’t provide drug coverage, beneficiaries have the option to enroll in a separate Medicare Prescription Drug Plan. Furthermore, comprehensive Medicare Advantage plans generally include:


  • Routine dental, vision, and hearing care, with some plans offering expanded coverage for these services
  • Wellness programs, such as fitness and nutrition programs
  • Preventive care services


These additional benefits further enhance the appeal of Medicare Advantage plans.

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Comparing Cost-Efficient Medicare Advantage Options

Cost efficiency, alongside quality and comprehensive coverage, is a major consideration for many while opting for a Medicare Advantage plan. In 2025, two-thirds of all MA-PDs in California will offer zero premium plans, making these cost-efficient options widely available.

However, while these plans come with supplemental benefits, beneficiaries might face increased copays and deductibles for specific services, potentially leading to higher overall healthcare expenses.

In addition to zero premium plans, there are also other affordable Medicare Advantage plan providers that offer quality service. Prominent among these are Aetna Medicare, Alignment Health Plan, and SCAN Health Plan.

These providers have been recognized for their affordable plans without compromising on quality, as reflected in their impressive star ratings and customer satisfaction scores.


Zero Premium Plans and Their Benefits

Zero premium plans, despite having no monthly cost, still provide essential benefits and services, thus offering affordable coverage. These plans require no monthly premium payment, hence the term “zero premium”.


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Private insurance companies are able to provide these plans as a means of cost management. Despite their affordability, zero premium plans do not skimp on coverage. They encompass all Original Medicare services, with many also providing supplemental benefits such as vision, hearing, and dental services.

While there is no monthly premium, beneficiaries may still incur other expenses such as deductibles, coinsurance, or copays.

All Medicare-eligible individuals in California have the opportunity to enroll in a zero-premium Medicare Advantage plan. This availability of zero premium plans, combined with their comprehensive coverage and the additional benefits they offer, make them an attractive option for many California residents seeking cost-efficient healthcare coverage.


Low Cost Plan Providers with Quality Service

Providers such as Alignment Health Plan, Aetna, and SCAN are known for offering quality service and coverage at competitive prices, thus making them affordable plan providers.

These providers have crafted plans that offer comprehensive benefits at affordable prices, making them an attractive option for many Medicare beneficiaries in California.

Some Medicare providers that offer affordable plans with comprehensive benefits include:


  • Alignment Health Plan, which offers plans with $0 premiums and reduced average maximum out-of-pocket expenses
  • Aetna, which prioritizes comprehensive benefits to guarantee member satisfaction while providing cost-effective choices
  • SCAN, which incorporates extra benefits like prescription drugs, dental, and vision coverage with minimal or no copays in their economical plans, exceeding the offerings of Original Medicare


These providers demonstrate that quality healthcare doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag.


Essential Resources for Medicare Beneficiaries in California

Optimizing your Medicare Advantage plan is not just about choosing the right plan but also about accessing the appropriate resources. For beneficiaries in California, these resources range from state-specific Medicare assistance programs to online tools for plan comparison.

These resources can help you navigate the Medicare landscape, find the right plan, and make informed decisions about your healthcare needs.


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State-specific Medicare assistance programs in California, such as the Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs), including the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) and Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) programs, offer support to individuals with low income and assets. Online tools, on the other hand, can help you compare Medicare plans right from the comfort of your home.

These tools not only provide detailed information about coverage, costs, and benefits, but also facilitate enrollment in a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Part D drug plan. Additionally, they can help you explore options like a medical savings account.

These resources ensure that you have all the information you need to make the best decision for your healthcare needs.


State-Specific Medicare Assistance Programs

State-specific Medicare assistance programs provide a lifeline for individuals with low income and assets. In California, these programs include the Medicare Savings Programs such as the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) and Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) programs.

These programs offer assistance with paying for Medicare premiums, deductibles, and copayments. In addition, they provide volunteer Medicare counseling and education to help individuals make informed decisions about their Medicare health insurance.

These programs are a valuable resource for those who need financial assistance with their healthcare costs.

In addition to financial assistance, state-specific Medicare assistance programs in California also play a crucial role in preventing fraud. Programs such as the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) and the Division of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse (DMFEA) work to educate beneficiaries about preventing fraud and abuse.

They also collaborate with law enforcement to conduct investigations and pursue legal action against individuals involved in fraudulent activities. These programs offer a vital layer of protection for Medicare beneficiaries, ensuring that their healthcare benefits are not misused.


Online Tools for Plan Comparison

Online tools provide a convenient and efficient way for beneficiaries to compare Medicare Advantage plans.

These tools allow users to compare various plans using criteria such as benefits, prescription drug coverage, and costs. A well-known example of such a tool is the Medicare Plan Finder on, which offers a searchable feature for comparing Medicare coverage options.

The Medicare Plan Finder tool offers:



  • Comprehensive details on coverage, costs, and benefits of various plan options available in your area, tailored to your prescriptions
  • Facilitation of enrollment in a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Part D drug plan
  • A summary of your current coverage
  • The ability to compare plan costs using your saved drugs and pharmacies


In addition to, there are also California-specific online tools available for comparing Medicare Advantage plans. These tools offer a wealth of information at your fingertips, helping you make the best decision for your healthcare needs.

How to Select the Best Medicare Advantage Plan for Your Needs

Choosing the best Medicare Advantage plan involves:


  • Understanding your personal health needs and preferences
  • Evaluating the plan’s network and extra services
  • Making an informed decision about what works best for you


It goes beyond merely comparing costs and coverage.


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Costs and coverage form the bedrock when deciding on a Medicare Advantage plan. It’s important to consider:


  • Premiums
  • Deductibles
  • Co-payments
  • Coinsurance


Reviewing the supplemental and prescription drug coverage offered, and taking into account the plan’s Medicare Advantage Star Ratings, can also help you evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a plan.

The significance of a plan’s network lies in its ability to determine the accessibility of doctors, hospitals, and medical facilities for care. Different network rules in plans offer diverse levels of cost control and quality of care, making it essential to choose a plan with a network that aligns with your healthcare requirements.


Evaluating Plan Costs Versus Coverage

Evaluating the costs and coverage of various Medicare Advantage Plans necessitates considering aspects like:


  • premiums
  • deductibles
  • co-payments
  • coinsurance


These costs can add up, and it’s important to understand what you’re paying for. In addition, it’s also crucial to review the supplemental and prescription drug coverage offered by the plan.

On average, the cost of a Medicare Advantage plan is $27 per month, but there are also $0-per-month plans available that offer most of Part A and Part B coverage along with additional benefits.

In addition to costs, the coverage benefits of a Medicare Advantage Plan are also a crucial factor in your decision. These benefits are determined based on the services covered by Original Medicare (Parts A and B), and some plans may offer additional coverage for:


  • drug
  • vision
  • hearing
  • dental
  • wellness services


Understanding what coverage a plan offers, in addition to its costs, can help you make an informed decision about the best plan for your needs.


Importance of Checking Plan’s Network and Extra Services

The significance of a plan’s network is paramount when it comes to Medicare Advantage plans. A plan’s network determines the accessibility of doctors, hospitals, and medical facilities for care.

Different network rules in plans offer diverse levels of cost control and quality of care, making it essential to choose a plan with a network that aligns with your healthcare requirements. If you have a preferred doctor or hospital, it’s important to check if they are included in the plan’s network.

In addition to the plan’s network, extra services are another crucial factor to consider when choosing a Medicare Advantage plan.

These services can include vision, hearing, and dental benefits, prescription drug coverage, and fitness programs. These extra services can significantly enhance your healthcare experience, providing added convenience and benefits that go beyond the basic coverage provided by Original Medicare.


Profiles of Prominent Medicare Advantage Providers

Certain names stand out in the expansive landscape of Medicare Advantage providers in California. These include Alignment Health Plan, Kaiser Permanente, and Sharp Health Plan, each of which offers unique benefits and coverage options.

These providers have carved a niche for themselves in the market, attracting a large number of beneficiaries with their high-quality plans and services.


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Alignment Health Plan, for instance, has been awarded an impressive 4.5-star rating by CMS in 2020, reflecting its commitment to quality. Meanwhile, Kaiser Permanente and Sharp Health Plan have received high ratings due to their comprehensive coverage and excellent customer satisfaction ratings.

Kaiser Permanente’s plans are highly rated, with most members in plans rated 4 stars or higher, including a 5 out of 5-star rating from CMS.

Similarly, Sharp Health Plan has also been rated 5 out of 5 stars by CMS, demonstrating their commitment to meeting high standards.


Alignment Health Plan: A Closer Look

Due to its low rates, good service ratings, and valuable perks, Alignment Health Plan has carved out a strong presence in the California Medicare Advantage market. This has helped the company to gain a reputation for itself.

The plan has been awarded a commendable 4.5-star rating by CMS in 2020, with a 5-out of 5-star summary rating for Part D prescription drug. Over 90% of Alignment Health Plan members are currently enrolled in plans rated 4-stars or greater for 2025, reflecting the high quality of the plan’s offerings.

Alignment Health Plan offers a range of cost-effective Medicare Advantage options, designed to meet the diverse needs of beneficiaries. The plan provides additional advantages including:


  • Dental care
  • Eyeglasses
  • Gym memberships
  • Hearing aids
  • On-call registered nurses
  • In-home health visits


Furthermore, it provides a 24/7 help line for members in California, ensuring that help is always just a call away.


Kaiser Permanente and Sharp Health Plan: Why They Rate Highly


Largest medicare advantage plans When discussing high-rated Medicare Advantage providers in California, Kaiser Permanente and Sharp Health Plan are two names that frequently emerge. Both providers have earned high CMS star ratings, reflecting their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. But what sets them apart from the rest?


Kaiser Permanente offers:

  • Comprehensive and cost-effective healthcare coverage for both individuals and families
  • Network coverage in multiple counties, including San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Contra Costa, and Alameda
  • Medical centers in Southern California


On the other hand, Sharp Health Plan, which primarily serves San Diego and southern Riverside Counties, accommodates nearly all health insurance plans, catering to the needs of individuals, families, and businesses.


Medicare Advantage Availability Across California

Even though Medicare Advantage plans are accessible in virtually all California counties, their availability significantly varies depending on the county’s urban or rural nature. Factors such as:


  • Firm strategy
  • Urbanicity of the county
  • The mix of fee-for-service and MA enrollees
  • Demographic characteristics of populations
  • Plan-specific factors


can all influence the availability of Medicare Advantage plans in a particular area.

For instance, Medicare Advantage enrollment has experienced faster growth in rural areas compared to metropolitan areas in recent years. Despite this growth, there are still significant differences in the variety and number of plans available in different parts of the state.


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To find out the specific plans offered in each county, individuals can utilize resources like the Q1Medicare website.


Enrollment Figures and Trends for California Medicare Advantage

California prides itself on its large and diverse Medicare population, with nearly 6 million Medicare-eligible residents. As of 2025, over 3.3 million residents are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, reflecting the growing popularity of these plans in the state.

In fact, approximately 51 percent of the Medicare-eligible population in California is enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans.

The growth in enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans in California indicates these plans’ rising allure among beneficiaries. Factors such as:


  • the availability of Special Needs Plans (SNPs)
  • the provision of supplemental benefits like dental, vision, and hearing
  • higher spending per Medicare Advantage enrollee in comparison to other enrollees
  • the alleviation of beneficiary Part D premium obligations


have all contributed to the rising popularity of these plans. This trend is expected to continue in the future, making Medicare Advantage plans an increasingly popular choice for California residents.

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In conclusion, California offers a diverse range of Medicare Advantage plans for 2025, with various providers and plan options to suit different needs and budgets. From high-performing plans with top CMS Star Ratings like Sharp Health Plan and Kaiser Permanente to cost-efficient options such as zero premium plans and low-cost plan providers, there is something for everyone.

Essential resources like state-specific Medicare assistance programs and online tools for plan comparison further ease the process of choosing the right plan.

While choosing a plan can seem daunting, it’s important to remember that it’s all about finding a plan that fits your specific health needs and preferences. Whether it’s evaluating plan costs versus coverage, checking the plan’s network and extra services, or considering the availability of plans in your area, each decision plays a crucial role in your healthcare journey.

So, take the time to explore your options, make use of the resources available, and make an informed decision about your healthcare future.



Frequently Asked Questions


What is the most popular Medicare Advantage plan for 2025?

Humana is the most popular Medicare Advantage plan for 2025 due to its high ratings, good benefits, and no-monthly-cost plans. AARP/UnitedHealthcare and Kaiser Permanente are also good options to consider, compared to other providers like UCLA Health.


What is the highest rated Medicare Advantage plan?

The highest rated Medicare Advantage plan for 2025 is Humana, which has been ranked No. 1 nationally by U.S. News for its plan offerings and benefits. UnitedHealthcare and Aetna also have top-rated plans for different aspects such as network size and extra perks.


Is Medicare premiums going down in 2025?

No, Medicare premiums are not going down in 2025. The standard monthly premiums will increase by $9.80 per month to $174.70 from $164.90 in 2023.


What are the updates regarding Medicare Advantage plans in California for the year 2025?

In California for the year 2025, marriage and family therapists and mental health counselors will be included in Medicare, expanding mental health care services, and 33% of Medicare beneficiaries will have access to at least 50 Medicare Advantage plans.

These changes aim to improve access to mental health services and expand plan options for beneficiaries.


What are the benefits and drawbacks of enrolling in a zero premium Medicare Advantage plan?

Enrolling in a zero premium Medicare Advantage plan can offer additional benefits like fitness classes and dental care.

However, it’s important to consider potential higher copays and deductibles for certain services, which could lead to increased overall healthcare costs.

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