Premiums for Medicare Advantage plans to remain stable in 2016

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

WASHINGTON – There won’t be a cat-and-mouse game with premiums for Medicare Advantage plans this year.

CMS announced this week that premiums will decrease by about $0.31 next year, from $32.91 on average in 2015 to $32.60 on average in 2016. The agency says the majority of enrollees, 59%, will face no increase in premiums.

“Seniors and people with disabilities continue to experience stable premiums in Medicare health and drug plans,” said Sean Cavanaugh, CMS deputy administrator and director of the Center for Medicare. “Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans remain affordable and provide high quality care.”

In past years, CMS has announced slight increases in the premiums for Medicare Advantage plans, only to reverse the increases.

CMS also announced that access to Medicare Advantage plans will remain strong, with 99% of beneficiaries having access to plans.

Additionally, CMS announced that in 2016, more plans will offer supplemental benefits for enrollees, such as dental, vision and hearing benefits.

Between 2010, when the Affordable Care Act was enacted, and 2016, premiums for Medicare Advantage plans are expected to decrease by nearly 10% and enrollment in those plans are projected to increase more than 50% to about 17.4 million enrollees, representing about 32% of the Medicare population.

The annual election period for Medicare health and drug plans begins Oct. 15, 2015, and ends Dec. 7, 2015.