Medicare Advantage Plans See Increased Enrollment and Falling Premiums

  • By Rebecca O'Rork
  • 05 Nov, 2012

Medicare Advantage plans are increasing in popularity as plan prices continue to fall.

The Department of Health and Human Services ( HHS ) recently announced that enrollment in Medicare Advantage (or Medicare Part C) has increased while premium prices have fallen. Medicare Advantage is a type of Medicare coverage that is managed by private insurers that are approved by Medicare. According to CMS, premiums for Medicare Advantage plans have fallen by 7 percent on average and enrollment has risen by about 10 percent since early 2011.

The numbers confirm projections made last September that enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans would continue to rise and average premiums would fall. According to   HHS , average premiums have fallen from $33.97 in 2011, to $31.54 in 2012, while enrollment has risen from 11.7 million in 2011 to 12.8 million in 2012.

  HHS   also released the following statistics on the Medicare Advantage program:

  • On average, there are 26 Medicare Advantage plans to choose from in nearly every county across the country;
  • Access to Medicare Advantage remains strong: 99.7 percent of Medicare beneficiaries have access to a Medicare Advantage plan; and
  • Since 2010, when the Affordable Care Act was passed, Medicare Advantage premiums have fallen by 16 percent and enrollment has climbed by 17 percent.

HHS   also noted, starting in 2012 as part of the Affordable Care Act, Medicare Advantage plans will begin receiving incentive payments called “quality bonus payments” which are intended to achieve high quality scores. As an extra incentive for high quality performance, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is allowing Five-Star Medicare Advantage and Part D plans to continuously market and enroll beneficiaries throughout the year.

Source:   ACA   International

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