This week CMS announced the new Medicare Advantage Plans and premiums for 2017. MedicareWire has analyzed the plan data and came to the following preliminary conclusions:
- Premiums will remain relatively stable.
- Based on the number of new beneficiaries and availability of new plans, enrollment could increase to 18.5 million beneficiaries (a 60% increase over 2010).
- The average monthly premium will drop by nearly $1.20.
- Over 65% of enrollees will not see a monthly premium increase.
- More plans will offer supplemental benefits, beyond Part D prescriptions, including vision, dental, and hearing.
Access to Medicare Advantage health insurance continues to be strong, with 99% of all Medicare beneficiaries having access to two or more health plans. Alaska remains the single state with zero plans available.
CMS says that “Average premiums in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program will also remain stable and beneficiaries have saved billions on prescription drugs.” CMS announced in July, 2016 that the average basic premium for a Medicare prescription drug plan in 2017 is projected to be an estimated $34 per month.