Medicare coverage for beneficiaries of the program will improve in 2018, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS.) This will result in more choices and options for Medicare coverage in 2018.“As CMS releases the benefit and premium information for Medicare health and drug plans for the 2018 calendar year, the average monthly premium for a Medicare Advantage plan will decrease while enrollment in Medicare Advantage is projected to reach a new all-time high,” according to a news release.
CMS estimates that the Medicare Advantage average monthly premium will decrease by $1.91 (about 6 percent) in 2018, from an average of $31.91 in 2017 to $30. Seventy-seven percent of Medicare Advantage enrollees remaining in their current plan will have the same or lower premium for 2018, it states.“More affordable choices lead to greater health security for those who need it most,” Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said in the news release. “Both Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D are providing a higher level of health security for so many of America’s seniors precisely because they are built to be more responsive to their needs.”
Medicare Advantage enrollment is estimated to increase to 20.4 million in 2018, a increase compared to 2017.Thirty-four percent of consumers enrolled in Medicare are projected to be in a Medicare Advantage plan in 2018, according to the CMS news release.“The success of Medicare Advantage and the prescription drug program demonstrates what a strong and transparent health market can do—increase quality while lowering costs,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said.
“When Americans are empowered to choose the plans that fit their needs and the needs of their families, they demand more from their insurance plans and in turn plans, like any business, provide customers better service at a lower cost.CMS also reports access to the Medicare Advantage program continues to be strong as 99 percent of consumers with Medicare also have access to a Medicare Advantage plan.
“The number of Medicare Advantage plans available to individuals to choose from across the country is increasing from about 2,700 to more than 3,100–and more than 85 percent of people with Medicare will have access to 10 or more Medicare Advantage plans,” it reports.“In addition, more Medicare Advantage enrollees are projected to have access to important supplemental benefits such as dental, vision, and hearing benefits.”