Humana Medicare Review

Well-rated and widely available

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Humana

 Humana

Investopedia’s Rating
4.3

Our Take

Humana isn’t the best rated company across all Medicare plans, but the company’s Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans are highly-rated for customer satisfaction and widely available. Though Humana offers many plan options, few of its Medicare Advantage plans offer additional drug coverage in the Medicare donut hole, relative to other insurers. But if you have Original Medicare, Humana's Premier Rx plans offer comprehensive Part D coverage.

The company is also a good option if you're seeking a Medicare supplement Plan G or high-deductible Plan G.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Company Overview
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Medicare Advantage plans rank highly for customer satisfaction

  • Widely available plans and many options

  • Low-cost, high-deductible Plan G

  • High Medicare star ratings

Cons
  • Few Medicare Advantage plans with additional coverage during the gap

  • High drug deductibles on Medicare Advantage plans

Company Overview

Humana was founded in 1961 and is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition to offering Medicare plans, the company offers dental, vision, Medicaid, and pharmacy benefits as well as insurance through employers. Humana is the second largest Medicare Advantage provider, providing coverage to approximately 5 million beneficiaries. Humana offers prescription drug plans nationwide, and Medicare Advantage plans are available for 2023 in all states except Alaska.

  • Year Founded 1961
  • Kinds of Policies Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, and Medicare Supplement plans
  • Customer Service 1-800-457-4708
  • Official Website https://www.humana.com/medicare
Humana

 Humana

overall rating
4.3

Pros Explained

  • Medicare Advantage plans highly ranked for customer satisfaction: Humana is ranked second best by J.D. Power for customer satisfaction for its Medicare Advantage plans, and is the top-ranked insurer to offer plans nationwide. This is one reason it’s featured among our picks for the Best Medicare Advantage Companies
  • Widely available plans and many options: Humana offers Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D plans, and Medigap plans, including Plan G-high deductible, in nearly every state. You can choose between an HMO, PPO, or PFFS Medicare Advantage plan, depending on where you live. 
  • Low-cost, high-deductible plan G: Humana offers a high-deductible Plan G Medicare Supplement, which is not widely available among insurers. Plus, it had the cheapest average premium for high-deductible Plan G of the Medicare providers we reviewed. This combo makes it one of the Best Medicare Supplement Insurance Companies.
  • High Medicare star ratings: Humana’s Part D prescription drug plans have the highest average Medicare star rating, at just under 4 stars, of all the major providers we reviewed. It’s Medicare Advantage plans also average 4 stars.

Cons Explained

  • Few Medicare Advantage plans with additional coverage during the gap: While a few of Humana’s plans offer insulin savings during the gap (per changes mandated in the Inflation Reduction Act), only about one third of Humana's Medicare Advantage plans offer additional drug coverage in the donut hole coverage gap. 
  • High average drug deductible for Medicare Advantage plans: Humana has the highest average drug deductible of the insurers we reviewed.

Third Party Ratings

Humana gets high ratings for customer satisfaction—it came in second in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Medicare Advantage Study. Its other ratings aren’t as impressive, but still good. The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) gives Humana plans 3.6 out of 5 stars, on average. The NCQA measures member experiences across Medicare plans, based on HEDIS and CAHPS scores and NCQA accreditation status. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) gives Humana’s Medicare Advantage and PDP plans an average 4 out of 5 stars. 

The company is also financially strong, but less so than some competitors. Humana received an A- (Excellent) financial strength rating from AM Best, an independent credit ratings agency that evaluates insurance companies on their ability to meet their financial obligations like paying claims.

Policies Available

Medicare Advantage (Part C) Plans

Many of Humana’s MA plans include prescription drug coverage, along with dental, vision, hearing, fitness, and over-the-counter drug benefits. You can choose between an HMO, which requires you to use in-network doctors, and a PPO, which provides more flexibility. Humana also offers special needs plans and a private fee-for-service plan for greater flexibility. 

Humana offers plans with $0 primary care copays, and some also offer $0 specialist copays. However, only about a third of Humana’s MA plans with drug coverage offer additional coverage during the Medicare donut hole or coverage gap, which is many fewer than competitors like UnitedHealthcare and Aetna.

Part D Prescription Drug Plans

A Part D prescription drug plan is a way to get your medications covered if you have Medicare Part A and/or Part B or a Medicare Advantage plan without drug coverage. Humana offers three plans: Humana Basic Rx Plan, Humana Walmart Value Rx Plan, and Humana Premier Rx Plan. With Humana Premier Rx, you'll pay small copays on generic drugs in the Medicare coverage gap. Neither of the other plans offer additional gap coverage, but the Humana Walmart Value Rx plan is a budget-friendly option for people who take generics, with a low premium and a $0 deductible for Tier 1 and Tier 2 drugs. 

Humana’s prescription drug plans have a relatively high Medicare star rating and are widely available, earning Humana a spot in our review of the Best Medicare Part D Providers

While Humana has a broad network of pharmacies, including Walmart, Kroger, Publix, Sam’s Club, and Costco, you should make sure you have access to an in-network pharmacy in your area. 

Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap)

Medigap policies are used to fill the gaps in Original Medicare and pay some out-of-pocket expenses, such as copays, coinsurance, and the Part A and B deductibles. Plans are standardized and, in most states, are identified by letters. Humana offers plans A, B, C, F, G, K, L, and N, including the high-deductible versions of F and G. But plans C and F aren’t available to people who became eligible for Medicare after 2020 (regardless of which insurer you choose). 

Cost

From a pure cost perspective, Humana’s Medicare Advantage plans are pricier than average. The average monthly premium across major insurers is around $20 per month for 2023, while Humana’s plans average $22.40 per month. Humana’s average drug deductible for its Medicare Advantage plans is nearly twice the industry average at $182.25. The average out-of-pocket maximum is $5,463.88, which is higher than most of its competitors (Aetna plans have higher out-of-pocket maximums). Still, cost doesn’t tell the whole story and Humana offers options that not all insurers do and does better than most in terms of customer satisfaction. 

The cost of Humana’s Part D plans is about average. Its popular Medigap plan G is also about average in price, but some companies, like Mutual of Omaha, have a lower premium. However, Humana’s high-deductible plan G has a lower premium, on average, than Mutual of Omaha, which illustrates why it’s essential to shop around. That said, you may be eligible for a 6% discount on your Medigap premium if you enroll online. 

Customer Service

Humana maintains extended customer service hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT daily, including weekends. This offers greater convenience than some other insurers. You can reach Medicare support at 1-800-457-4708. Humana also has a live web chat and an online portal for members to complete many self-service actions online. 

Methodology

Literature Review

We identified top companies by market share within the industry offering Medicare plans from various business and market insight databases including Statistia, Plunkett, and Gale. We also considered user-generated data from Google to determine public interest and trends in Medicare plans. 

Data Collection and Verification

Our data was collected through third-party rating agencies, official government websites and databases, and directly from companies via websites, media contacts, and existing partnerships. Our sources include: AM Best, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), J.D. Power, and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS).

Data was verified to ensure data integrity and accuracy by cross-referencing the records and citation corresponding to each data point with our primary sources.

Ratings Methodology

We calculated star ratings for the quality of each company’s plan types. Factors considered for companies offering Medicare plans were: 

  • Plan quality and customer satisfaction: CMS and NCQA ratings were considered to measure these criteria. Each organization independently rates the quality of Medicare plans on a one-to-five scale to help people compare plans during open enrollment. 
  • Cost to value: This is a measure of plan value based on plan premiums, deductibles, maximum out-of-pocket amounts, whether additional drug coverage is offered in the Medicare gap, and star ratings.
  • Additional coverage offered in the Medicare gap: The coverage gap or "donut hole" refers to a period when there is a limit on drug coverage. During this time, members are responsible for up to 25% of brand name and generic drugs. You may spend less on prescription drugs if your plan provides additional coverage during the gap.
  • State availability: This measure indicates how widely available plans are across the U.S.
  • Additional plan benefits: This measure concerns additional benefits available, including vision, dental, hearing, non-emergency transportation, worldwide emergencies, gym memberships, and telehealth. 
  • Types of plans available: Insurance companies offer Medicare Advantage plans through managed care organizations, including HMOs and PPOs. This measure concerns the number of managed care options available.
  • Special needs plans: This is a measure of whether the company offers plans designed for those with specific diseases.
  • Financial strength: This measure accounts for each company’s AM Best financial strength rating to understand how well it’s positioned to pay insurance claims. 

Medicare does not offer every plan available in your area. Any information it provides is limited to those plans it offers in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to get information on all of your options.


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Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. J.D. Power. “2022 U.S. Medicare Advantage Study.”

  2. NCQA. “Health Plans.”