The average monthly plan premium for Medicare Advantage plans will increase only slightly to $18.50 in 2024 from $17.86 in 2023, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported Tuesday. This represents an increase of $0.64, but those who stay in their plan will likely see “little or no premium increase,” CMS said. For about 73% of beneficiaries, there won’t be any premium increases.
In addition, the number of choices consumers have in MA plans is increasing, and MA supplemental benefit offerings are also rising “slightly,” CMS said. This information comes ahead of the Medicare open enrollment period that starts October 15.
“Today’s release shows that, as expected, people with Medicare will continue to have robust options and stable benefit offerings in the MA market,” said CMS Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Medicare Meena Seshamani, MD, Ph.D., in an announcement. “We encourage individuals eligible for Medicare to review these options as well as Traditional Medicare and enroll in the option that best meets their health needs.”
MA enrollment is on the rise, CMS also noted. About 33.8 million people are projected to enroll in MA plans in 2024, up from 31.6 million in 2023. MA beneficiaries will account for half of all people enrolled in Medicare in 2024, compared to about 48% in 2023.
The agency added that more than 1,500 MA plans will engage in the CMS Innovation Center’s Medicare Advantage Value-based Insurance Design Model in 2024. The model will “test the effect of offering person-centered innovative benefits that are critical to meeting health care needs and improving health equity to a projected 8.7 million people,” CMS said.
CMS stated that the 2024 Rate Announcement and the 2024 Medicare Advantage and Part D final rule — which included protections on marketing and prior authorization and improved access to behavioral health — are helping keep premiums stable. The agency added that through the Inflation Reduction Act, those with Medicare Part D coverage will receive a $35 cost-sharing limit on a month’s supply of insulin and free recommended adult vaccines.
“A top priority for CMS is to protect and strengthen the Medicare program for people with Medicare, their children, and their grandchildren,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure in a news release. “It is important for people with Medicare to review their health care coverage and explore their Medicare options during Open Enrollment. The Biden-Harris Administration has taken many steps to improve Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Part D prescription drug program, and premiums and benefits in 2024 for Medicare Advantage will remain stable.”
CMS announced in July that the average total monthly premium for Medicare Part D is expected to be $55.50 in 2024, a 1.8% decrease from $56.49 in 2023.
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