Most of the Medicare Advantage plans sold in Western Pennsylvania may cost a little less or more in 2018 than this year. According to the federal data revealed recently, seniors may have some plans to choose from in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.

The new amount let seniors commence shopping the plans, which are a private option to established Medicare in advance of the yearly enrollment period that runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. Allegheny County seniors can make a choice from 36 plans with premiums varying from $0 per month for restricted network plans to those with more bountiful advantage and premiums touching $300. Westmoreland County seniors have 34 plans to make a choice from with a homogeneous price range.

Medicare Advantage plans are speedily becoming popular amidst baby boomers that depart at an approximated rate of 10,000 people per day, and the Western Pennsylvania market is aggressive. Novel insurer Allwell, a Centene subsidiary, is infiltrating the market this year with a $0-premium plan, participating with local insurers Highmark Inc. and UPMC Health Plan and national insurers Aetna, United Healthcare and Humana.

Highmark anticipates the ultimate expansion in its Community Blue plans, excluding UPMC hospitals, said Ellen Galardy, Highmark Inc.’s vice president of senior markets. The HMO kinds of plans don’t cost anything in premiums every month. Highmark is initiating a PPO version this year for $13 per month. The PPO involves network admittance to hospitals and doctors in dissimilar states and engulfs a section of out of network bills unalike the HMO. But overall HMO and PPO are quite similar.