Medicare Open Enrollment Begins Tomorrow. What’s New for Beneficiaries this Year?

Earlier this month, CMS released the 2021 benefit and cost-sharing information for Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans on Medicare.gov. Additionally, for the first time, seniors will be able to find through Medicare Plan Finder on Medicare.gov more than 1,600 prescription drug plans to choose from that will offer insulin at no more than a $35 monthly copay beginning in January.

Average 2021 premiums for Medicare Advantage plans are expected to decline 34.2 percent from 2017 while plan choice, benefits, and enrollment continue to increase. The Medicare Advantage average monthly premium will be the lowest in 14 years (since 2007). This is for the over 26 million Medicare beneficiaries projected to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan for 2021. In some states, including Alabama, Nevada, Michigan, and Kentucky, beneficiaries will see average premium decreases of more than 50 percent since 2017.

Beneficiaries will have more plan choices in Medicare Advantage, with about 2,100 more Medicare Advantage plans operating in 2021 than in 2017, a 76.6 percent increase. Overall, beneficiaries will be able to choose from more than 4,800 Medicare Advantage plans during Medicare Open Enrollment. 

In addition to cost savings, Medicare beneficiaries will also be able to compare Medicare Advantage plans and Part D plans with star ratings, similar to the system used for many provider types. Click here for more information on the new star rating system.

All providers need to remind their staff to ask patients about changes to their insurance. Every visit, every time, no excuses! Your reimbursement and livelihood depends on it!

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