Medicare Advantage Plans Cost Less In 2012
You may have heard some depressing predictions that the private humana health insurance company’s Medicare Advantage Plans would soon reduce coverage benefits or increase premiums. Until now, nothing could be further from the truth. The Obama administration said that almost 12 million beneficiaries of the Medicare Advantage policy will notice that their monthly rates will be reduced by an average of four percent next year, but the benefits will remain the same.
About a quarter of all Medicare beneficiaries are now enrolled in Advantage plans, according to Jonathan Blum, deputy administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). He expect that enrollment will increase by 10% next year because these plans are also reducing beneficiary expenses. Plans will reduce copayments and deductibles.To get an idea of what price range we are talking about, the average monthly Medicare Advantage premium is around $39 this year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The economic downturn, recession or whatever you want to call really reduced the cost of coverage.
Advantage members used minimal medical care during the crisis and insurers had fewer claims to cover. This means that they did not have to spend as much on the awards they received as they expected. There is also another incentive for insurers to keep the costs of their Medicare benefit plans low. These plans often provide coverage for prescription drugs, which puts them in competition with Medicare-controlled drug plans, also known as Part D. The Obama administration has just announced that the cost of Part’s prescription drug plans D will also decrease by approximately a little bit
What forecasts with Medicare benefit plans would cost more?
The government pays more per capita for private plan beneficiaries than for those enrolled in traditional Medicare. This year, federal Medicare Advantage policy payments have been frozen and salary cuts are expected. By 2012, payments will fall less than one percent for many, but not all, MA plans.
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