Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that, on average, Medicare Advantage premiums will decline while plan choices and new beneﬁts increase. In addition, Medicare Advantage enrollment is projected to reach a new all-time high with more than 36 percent of Medicare beneﬁciaries projected to be enrolled in Medicare Advantage in 2019. This news comes as the agency releases the beneﬁt and premium information for Medicare health and drug plans for the 2019 calendar year.
“Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage demonstrate the successes possible when we harness consumer choice and private-sector innovation to improve care and lower cost,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “Efforts to strengthen negotiation and competition in Medicare Part D are bearing fruit in the form of lower drug costs for American seniors, a key priority for President Trump. Meanwhile, the signiﬁcant steps taken to maximize competition among Medicare Advantage plans and support and empower Medicare beneficiaries are a crucial piece of allowing patients to deﬁ ne and drive value, which the Trump Administration has made a priority.”
“The steps that the Trump Administration has taken to improve and drive competition in Medicare Advantage means more savings, more beneﬁts, and lower costs for seniors,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “The popularity of programs, such as Medicare Advantage, and with the various new supplemental beneﬁts and policy changes that have been adopted, we expect plan choices to be even more robust moving forward.”
The Medicare Advantage average monthly premium continues to steadily decline, and will be the lowest in the last three years. On average, Medicare Advantage premiums in 2019 is estimated to decrease by six percent to $28.00, from an average of $29.81 in 2018. Nearly 83 percent of Medicare Advantage enrollees remaining in their current plan will have the same or lower premium in 2019. Approximately 46 percent of enrollees in their current plan will have a zero premium.
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