Premera Medicare Advantage Plans Review

Fact Checked
Medicare rating: 3.5 to 4 stars A.M. Best financial strength rating: A BBB rating: B- NCQA rating: 3 stars Consumer Affairs rating: Not rated J.D. Power ranking: Not ranked

Quick Premera Medicare Advantage Plans review: Premera is a regional health insurance provider serving Washington and Alaska with in-network providers, modest out-of-pocket costs, and average customer service ratings.

Premera is a regional health insurance provider that administers Medicare Advantage Plans in 14 counties in Washington and Alaska. It’s the largest health plan in the Pacific Northwest and provides insurance coverage for more than two million people. This nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association has operated in Washington since 1933 and in Alaska since 1952.

Premera offers a wide selection of Medicare Advantage Plans, all of which provide benefits beyond those included in Original Medicare. In some cases, plan premiums are $0, meaning that you only pay the standard Part B premium for your coverage. All plans have networks made up of thousands of doctors, specialists, therapists, and hospitals. Because these plans only cover care you get from in-network providers, they’re not a good fit for everyone. It’s a good idea to review each plan’s out-of-pocket costs, coverage options, and copays to determine whether it meets your health care needs.

Pros and Cons of Premera Medicare Advantage Plans

What we like about Premera Medicare Advantage Plans: The drawbacks of Premera Medicare Advantage Plans:
  • Affordable monthly premiums
  • No annual deductible for health benefits, zero or low deductible for drugs
  • Low-cost telehealth visits
  • Plans are only available in 14 Washington and Alaska counties
  • All plans are HMOs, which may limit your health care provider choices

What do Premera Medicare Advantage Plans Cover?

Also called Medicare Part C, Medicare Advantage Plans combine Part A and B benefits with various extra services, but there are limits to what your Premera plan will pay. Most Premera Medicare Advantage Plans include:

  • Prescription drug coverage
  • Vision
  • Dental
  • Hearing
  • Wellness benefits, such as free gym memberships
  • Wellness over-the-counter medications
  • Worldwide emergency

Premera Medicare Advantage Plan Options

Premera has several Medicare Advantage Plans available, although options may vary depending on where you live. All plans are HMOs and most include medical and prescription drug coverage and fitness benefits. Some selections include optional dental coverage. In-office copays are generally affordable and telehealth visits tend to be even cheaper. Monthly premiums range between $0 and $55. Annual maximum out-of-pocket costs are as low as $5,000 or as high as $6,700. Most plan premiums and copay charges are less in 2022 compared to 2021 pricing.

Here are the Premera Medicare Advantage Plan options for 2022:

Plan name Monthly premium Annual deductible Office visits Annual maximum out-of-pocket cost
Premera Blue Cross Medicare Advantage Peak + Rx (HMO)  $0 $0 health

$160 drug

$5 primary care/$40 specialist $6,700
Premera Blue Cross Medicare Advantage (HMO)  $0 $0 health

$160 drug

$5 primary care/$40 specialist $6,500
Premera Blue Cross Medicare Advantage Sound + Rx (HMO)  $35 $0 health

$0 drug

$0 primary care/$45 specialist $6,500
Premera Blue Cross Medicare Advantage Alpine (HMO)  $24 $0

No drug coverage

$0 primary care/$45 specialist $6,500
Premera Blue Cross Medicare Advantage Classic (HMO)  $55 $0 health

$0 drug

$0 primary care/$30 specialist $5,000

*Based on pricing in Olympia, Washington in 2022

Premera Medicare Advantage Plans Reviews and Ratings

Premera has moderate scores across available consumer websites. In general, members give average approval ratings for the plan’s care and services, although many find customer service experience to be lacking.

Trusted ratings and reviews can help you understand how an insurer’s plans stack up against the competition. See how Medicare, A.M. Best, the Better Business Bureau and more rate Highmark Medicare Advantage plans.

Medicare rating: 3.5 to 4 stars Premera’s Medicare Advantage Plans have an overall rating range of 3.5 to 4 stars for quality and performance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
A.M. Best financial strength rating: A A.M. Best is a credit rating agency specializing in the insurance industry. In August 2019, A.M. Best upgraded its Financial Strength Rating to A (Excellent) from A- to Premera Blue Cross and its subsidiaries.

An A rating indicates stability to meet ongoing obligations.

BBB rating: A- Premera is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau but has a B- rating and has closed 30 complaints in the last three years.
NCQA rating: 3 stars The National Committee for Quality Insurance has ratings for two Premera plans. Both plans have overall ratings of 3. across NCQA’s three categories, and both plans rate 3.0 in consumer satisfaction and treatment. One plan rates 3 in prevention while the other is given a score of 3.5.
Consumer Affairs rating: Not rated Not rated
J.D. Power ranking: Not ranked In its 2021 Medicare Advantage Study, J.D. Power measured Medicare Advantage Plan satisfaction based on coverage and benefits, provider choice, cost, customer service, information and communication, and billing and payment. Premera is not ranked in the top ten.
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Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)Ⓡ

As a health care professional since 1987, Kelly Blackwell has walked alongside and cared for seniors as they journey through the season of their fourth quarter of life. Blackwell holds a Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Northern Colorado, a Master of Science in health care administration from Grand Canyon University, an interprofessional graduate certificate in palliative care from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and holds a Certified Senior Advisor® credential from the Society of Certified Senior Advisors.

Blackwell contributes to the University of Colorado-Anschutz blog and has been published in “The Human Touch” distributed by the University of Colorado Center for Bioethics and Humanities. She cowrote “Dying Is” for Pathways Hospice.

A registered nurse, Blackwell understands health insurance choices influence quality of life and are driven by values, goals, and beliefs. She’s passionate about engaging with, educating, and empowering seniors as they navigate the health care system. She’s equipped to lend an experienced, compassionate voice to beneficiaries seeking information about Medicare Advantage Plans.

As a CSAⓇ, Blackwell has access to valuable resources for Medicare beneficiaries. Her work as a bedside nurse and clinical manager has given her the opportunity to see how Medicare rules, regulations, and benefits work when patients need them. With a passion to learn and to make a difference in the lives of seniors, Blackwell supports seniors through Medicare and fourth-quarter life decisions.

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