Things are looking up for Medicare Advantage premium prices. The Trump Administration has tailored its 2021 Medicare Advantage plans to specifically benefit chronic disease management. CMS expects premiums to drop 34.2 percent from 2017 levels in the new year. The high enrollment projections would represent a 44 percent enrollment increase since 2017.
“Today’s announcement confirms that market competition works,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “Medicare beneficiaries will feel the difference – in their health as well as their pocketbook.”
Medicare Advantage beneficiaries will pay less for these benefits this year than they have in previous years. The average Medicare Advantage premium should drop 11 percent to $21 in 2021. The decreases vary by states, with some states seeing as much as a 50 percent decrease from their 2017 premiums.
CMS announced these specific Medicare Advantage changes from the Trump Administration in 2021:
- Over 94 percent of Medicare Advantage plans will offer additional telehealth benefits reaching 20.7 million beneficiaries, up from about 58 percent of plans offering telehealth benefits in 2020.
- For the first time in Medicare, 53 Medicare Advantage plans will offer increased access to palliative care and integrated hospice care to their enrollees through the Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design Model.
- In 2021, about 730 plans will provide about 3 million Medicare Advantage enrollees with extra healthcare benefits as additional types of supplemental benefits, such as adult day health services, caregiver support services, in-home support services, therapeutic massage, or home-based palliative care.
- There will also be the expansion of access to reduced cost-sharing to benefits for enrollees with certain conditions, such as diabetes and congestive heart failure. About 500 plans in 2021 will offer up to 2.5 million Medicare Advantage enrollees with particular conditions with access to lower copayments or additional benefits such as meals and transportation.
- About 920 plans reaching 4.3 million beneficiaries will offer non-primarily health-related benefits tailored to people with chronic conditions that may help them better manage their disease(s). Examples include pest control, home cleaning services, meal home delivery, and transportation for non-medical reasons such as trips to the grocery store.
- More than 440 Medicare Advantage plans will be participating in the 2021 Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design Model, with over 1.6 million beneficiaries projected to receive additional benefits such as healthy foods and meals, transportation support, reduced cost-sharing, and rewards and incentives aligned with Part D drugs.
Open Enrollment is around the corner!
Medicare Open Enrollment begins on October 15, 2020, and ends on December 7, 2020.
During this time, Medicare beneficiaries can compare coverage options like Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage and choose health and drug plans for 2021. Medicare health and drug plan costs and covered benefits can change from year to year, so people with Medicare should look at their coverage choices and decide on the options that best meet their health needs.
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Find more information on Medicare Advantage plans HERE.