- The average monthly premium for Medicare Advantage will drop about 4% in 2017, to $31.40 from $32.59 currently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Thursday.
- This is 13% less than the average Medicare Advantage premium before the Affordable Care Act was passed.
- Enrollment in Medicare Advantage is expected to grow reach 18.5 million next year, up 60% from 2010, accounting for 32% of all Medicare enrollees.
Medicare Advantage enrollees will also see more plans offering supplemental benefits, such as dental, vision and hearing benefits, CMS says. The agency predicts access to Medicare Advantage will remain strong next year, with 99% of beneficiaries having access to a Medicare health plan.
Average premiums for the Medicare Part D prescription drug program will rise slightly, from $32.56 in 2016 to $34 per month 2017. According to a fact sheet on Medicare Advantage and Part D, the program has saved consumers more than $23.5 billion, or about $2,127 per beneficiary, since the ACA was enacted.
The positive projections would appear to be more vindication for the ACA and its supporters. A recent analysis by the Center for American Progress found Medicare is on track to spend about $2 trillion less over the next 10 years than had been predicted in 2009.
That analysis attributed the reduced Medicare cost projections to a number of factors, including payment reform, penalties for hospital readmissions and primary care enhancements.