On Friday, September 28, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that Medicare Advantage (MA) premiums will decrease by six percent, on average, in 2019. Additionally, plan choices and new benefits are expected to increase as MA enrollment reaches new highs.
According to a statement from CMS, more than 36 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are projected to be enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan for 2019. The bonus of adding a Medicare Advantage plan to regular Medicare is in the added benefits, which include dental, vision, hearing services, and meals.
Due to “flexibility” around supplemental benefits, 270 plans are offering 1.5 million beneficiaries with access to benefits like adult day care services, in-home support, caregiver support and in-home palliative care. Members with conditions such as diabetes are eligible for additional benefits and reduced cost sharing.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a press release;
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.
The MA Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) for 2019 begins Oct. 15, 2018, ending Dec. 7, 2018. Plans and premiums change annually, Medicare beneficiaries can check out choices and decide on the most suitable plan by accessing the Medicare site.
Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is a believer in Part D and MA, stating,
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.
The Hertel Report will provide its 2019 MA Data Spotlight report for members after the release of MA star ratings – expected on or around
October 10, 2018. The report will include 2019 MA and MA SNP data including monthly premium costs, MOOP and star ratings, YOY.
To search for premiums and costs of 2019 drug and MA plans, visit CMS’ site.
Check out Healthcare Finance’s article for more insight.