What You Need to Know
- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services predicts that Medicare Advantage enrollment will increase to 29.5 million next year.
- About 14 million of the 63 million people on Medicare use private supplement insurance policies to fill gaps in traditional Medicare coverage.
- The 2022 average monthly premium will be the lowest in 15 years, said Mary Beth Donahue of the Better Medicare Alliance
Instead of increasing because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on health care costs, typical Medicare Advantage plan premiums are shrinking.
The average monthly premium for a Medicare Advantage health plan will fall to $19 per month in 2022, down 10%, from $21.22, this year.
The average monthly premium for a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan will increase to $33, up from $31.47.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that runs the Medicare Advantage program, is predicting that enrollment in the program will increase to 29.5 million next year, from 26.9 million this year.
CMS has posted county-by-county Medicare Advantage plan cost data on its website, along with a summary.
Medicare Advantage Basics
The Medicare Advantage program offers private health insurers a chance to provide health plans that serve as an alternative to traditional Medicare Part A hospitalization coverage and Medicare Part B outpatient and physician services coverage.
CMS uses a bidding process to get the issuers to compete based on monthly premiums and annual out-of-pocket spending spending limits. The issuers provide the coverage in exchange for a combination of subsidy payments from CMS and premium payments from the enrollees.
The annual enrollment period for Medicare Advantage policies and Medicare Part D coverage is set to start Oct. 15 and run until Dec. 7.
About 14 million of the 63 million people with Medicare coverage use private Medicare supplement insurance policies to fill gaps in traditional Medicare coverage. A different open enrollment period system applies to those policies.
The current Medicare annual enrollment period will be the first shaped by the administration of President Joe Biden.