Average Medicare Advantage monthly premium expected to drop to $21 as plan choices swell to more than 4,800 and enrollment projected to increase to nearly 27 million
Washington, D.C. – Better Medicare Alliance (BMA), the leading research and advocacy organization supporting Medicare Advantage, responded to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) projections for Medicare Advantage average premiums and plan offerings in 2021.
CMS anticipates that 26.9 million beneficiaries – 42% of the total Medicare population – will enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan in 2021. Beneficiaries will see average premiums of $21 a month, the lowest average premiums since 2007 and a decrease of 11 percent from $23.63 in 2020.
The number of Medicare Advantage plans has grown to 4,800 health plans available during the 2021 open enrollment season, a 76.6% increase since 2017. The average number of Medicare Advantage plan choices per county will increase from about 39 plans in 2020 to 47 plans in 2021.
“With news of record-setting enrollment, an all-time high of Medicare Advantage plan choices, and the lowest average monthly premiums in 14 years, Medicare Advantage continues to deliver immeasurable value for seniors and those with disabilities – even as it serves a higher proportion of beneficiaries with social risk factors,” said Allyson Y. Schwartz, President and CEO of the Better Medicare Alliance. “This news shows the continued strength of Medicare Advantage’s innovative, risk-based approach and unique delivery of improved health outcomes at a lower cost to Medicare beneficiaries. The growth in plan options, higher enrollment, and lower premiums for beneficiaries in 2021 is truly good news for millions of beneficiaries as they review their options during open enrollment this fall.”
Schwartz concluded, “Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that has challenged the entire health care system, Medicare Advantage demonstrated its value to beneficiaries, stability, and cost-effectiveness for providers and the government. While debates over health care policy can often be divisive, Medicare Advantage shows us all a way to find common ground and offers lessons to be learned for the rest of the health care system. This latest news affirms Medicare Advantage’s value in the future of Medicare.”