On Monday, CMS announced that the average monthly premium for Medicare Advantage plans in 2016 will drop by about 31 cents,Modern Healthcare reports (Herman, Modern Healthcare, 9/21).
According to CMS, average MA premiums will likely decrease from an average of $32.91 this year to $32.60 next year (Young, CQ HealthBeat, 9/21). MA premiums are expected to drop by almost 10% between 2010 and 2016, CMS said (CMS release, 9/21).
In addition, CMS said the majority of MA beneficiaries, or about 59%, will not see any premium increases next year. CMS Deputy Administrator Sean Cavanaugh in a statement said the flat rates show that Medicare beneficiaries are “benefiting from a transparent and competitive marketplace.”
Flat Premiums Could Attract More Customers
According to CQ HealthBeat, the stable MA premium rates could draw more beneficiaries to enroll in MA plans (CQ HealthBeat, 9/21).
According to Modern Healthcare, about 95% of MA beneficiaries currently live in areas where at least one available MA plan does not charge a monthly premium. Tom Kornfield, a vice president at Avalere, said, “The $0 premium is a very important product,” adding, “It is critical for [MA] plans, and they’ve been able to maintain this despite changes in reimbursement cuts post-ACA” (Modern Healthcare, 9/21).