The average premium for Medicare Advantage plans will drop to $19 per month in 2022, compared with $21.22 this year, according to CMS data released ahead of open enrollment.1 For Part D coverage, the average premium will be $33 per month next year, compared with $31.47 this year.
Meanwhile, the agency expects enrollment to increase by 2.6 million, with 29.5 million enrollees expected in 2022, compared with 26.9 million in 2021. MA members will continue to have access to supplemental benefits, including:
- hearing aids
- preventive and comprehensive dental benefits
- access to meals (for a limited time period)
- over-the-counter items
- fitness benefits
- worldwide emergency/urgent coverage.
In addition to general supplemental benefits, the percentage of plans offering special supplemental benefits for chronically ill individuals will increase from 19% to 25%.
As these benefits gain popularity among MA members, lawmakers are weighting whether to make vision, hearing and dental benefits part of original Medicare. Objections include costs, which could reach $358 billion in 10 years, and whether these benefits could affect MA supplemental benefits due to benchmark calculations.2
Along with supplemental benefits, MA plans have embraced value-based design models and in 2022, more than 1,000 will participate in the CMS Innovation Center’s Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design Model.
The agency also noted that in 2022:
- 115 MA plans in parts of 22 states and US territories will offer the VBID Model’s Hospice Benefit Component
- More than 2,100 plans will be testing the Part D Senior Savings Model, designed to increase access and affordability of certain insulins
- 295 MA dual eligible special needs plans (compared with 256 in 2021), will cover all Medicare services, along with Medicaid-covered behavioral health treatment or long-term services and supports, through a single organization.
This year’s Medicare Open Enrollment will run from Oct. 15, 2021, to Dec. 7, 2021.
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- CMS Releases 2022 Premiums and Cost-Sharing Information for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans. CMS Newsroom. Sept. 29, 2021. https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/cms-releases-2022-premiums-and-cost-sharing-information-medicare-advantage-and-prescription-drug
- Morse, S. Medicare Advantage premiums are $2 lower per month in 2022. Healthcare Finance. Sept. 29, 2021. https://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/medicare-advantage-premiums-are-2-lower-month-2022