Although most Medicare beneficiaries await premium increases, there is something to be positive about. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, “the average Medicare Advantage monthly premium will decrease from $32.59 in 2016 to $31.40 in 2017. This would be 13 percent lower than the average Medicare Advantage premium prior to passage of the Affordable Care Act.”
Enrollment is projected to increase to 18.5 million enrollees next year, a 60 percent increase from 2010. In 2017, 32 percent of all Medicare enrollees will be in a Medicare Advantage plan compared to only 24 percent in 2010 (CMS.gov).
Meanwhile, premiums for Medicare Part D will remain steady at $34 a month in 2017. Since 2010, the program has saved each enrollee an average of $2,127 in drug costs.
CMS also made some changes to the Medicare Advantage Star Rating system. According to CMS.gov, it will “strengthen the accuracy of the evaluation system” by accounting for low income, dual-eligible and disabled individuals. The agency has also finalized new payment adjustments that will pay more for beneficiaries in those high risk categories.