Medicare Advantage premiums continue to decline while plan choices and benefits increase in 2019

CMS on Friday reported 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% of Medicare beneficiaries projected to be enrolled in Medicare Advantage in 2019. "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." The Medicare Advantage average monthly premium continues to steadily decline, and will be the lowest in the last 3 years. On average, Medicare Advantage premiums in 2019 is estimated to decrease by 6% to $28.00, from an average of $29.81 in 2018. Nearly 83% of Medicare Advantage enrollees remaining in their current plan will have the same or lower premium in 2019. Medicare Advantage will be offering approximately 600 more plans in 2019. The number of plans available to individuals to choose from across the country is increasing from about 3,100 to about 3,700. Medicare Advantage enrollment is projected to increase to an all-time high from the current enrollment of 20.2 million to 22.6 million in 2019, an 11.5% increase compared with 2018.

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