Medicare Advantage remains strong

Hhs.gov: September 19, 2012

Enrollment in the Medicare Advantage (MA) program is projected to increase by 11 percent in the next year and premiums will remain steady, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today. Since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, Medicare Advantage premiums have fallen by 10 percent and enrollment has risen by 28 percent.

“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug programs have been strengthened and continue to improve for beneficiaries,” said Secretary Sebelius. “Since the law was enacted in 2010, average premiums have gone down, enrollment has gone up, and new benefits and lower drug costs continue to help millions of seniors and people with disabilities.”

For the third year in a row, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) used authority provided by the Affordable Care Act to protect beneficiaries from significant increases in costs or cuts in benefits. Access to supplemental benefits remains steady and beneficiaries’ average out-of-pocket spending remains constant.

The average MA premium in 2013 is projected to increase by only $1.47 from last year, coming to $32.59. However, if beneficiaries choose lower cost plans at the same rate in 2013, as they did in 2012, the average premium is expected to increase by only 57 cents. Access to the Medicare Advantage program will remain strong, with 99.6 percent of beneficiaries having access to a plan. Additionally, the number of plan choices will increase by 7 percent in 2013.

Last month, CMS announced that the average estimated basic Medicare prescription drug plan premium was projected to be $30 in 2013, holding steady from last year. Today’s projections show that access to a Medicare prescription drug plan will remain strong in 2013. Everyone with Medicare will have access to a wide range of plan choices. Read More