Happy group of seniors giving thumbs up

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has made a surprising (and pleasant) announcement: Medicare Advantage and Part D premiums are decreasing. Not only that, both plans are expected to have more coverage choices in 2018. We have a breakdown of the Medicare decreased premiums and increased choices.

Medicare Decreased Premiums: Medicare Advantage

The first set of Medicare decreased premiums to know about are for Medicare Advantage plans. In 2018, the average Medicare Advantage premium will decrease by about 6 percent, or $1.91. The average premium in 2018 will be $30 (down from $31.91 in 2017).

What does this mean for you? It’s likely that your premiums will remain the same or decrease. CMS estimates that around 77 percent of seniors who keep their current Medicare Advantage plan will have the same (or a lower) premium. A licensed insurance agent can help you determine if your premium will decrease.

Medicare Decreased Premiums: Part D

The second set of Medicare decreased premiums to be aware of are for Medicare Part D plans. In 2018, the average Medicare Part D premium will decrease by $1.20. The average premium in 2018 will be $33.50 (down from $34.70 in 2017).

What does this mean for you? It’s likely that your Part D premium will decrease. CMS did not estimate the percentage of seniors who this will positively affect. However, it did point out that this is the first Part D premium decrease since 2012.

Medicare Increased Choices and Accessibility

In addition to Medicare’s decreased premiums, CMS also announced that plan availability and choice will increase in 2018. For Medicare Advantage:

  • 99 percent of seniors with Medicare will have access to a Medicare Advantage plan.
  • The number of Medicare Advantage plans available nationwide will surpass 3,100 (an increase from 2,700).
  • 85 percent of seniors with Medicare will have access to 10 (or more) Medicare Advantage plan options.
  • On average, each county will have two more Medicare Advantage plan options (up to about 29).
  • Seniors with Medicare Advantage are expected to have increased access to supplemental benefits such as dental, vision, and hearing.

For Medicare Part D, all seniors will have access to a stand-alone plan.

Medicare Advantage and Part D by State in 2018

Each state’s Medicare decreased premiums and plan availability will differ. Below, we’ve compiled a chart to give you an idea about your state’s Medicare Advantage and Part D landscape in 2018. Remember that these are state averages and my not describe your county exactly.

States and Territories Medicare Advantage Plans Available % of Seniors With Access to Medicare Advantage Part D Plans Available % of Seniors With Access to Part D With a Lower Premium Lowest Monthly Premium for a Part D Plan
Alabama 47 100% 25 87% $17.70
Alaska 19 76% $20.40
Arizona 75 100% 23 79% $12.70
Arkansas 54 100% 23 88% $16.40
California 266 97% 25 84% $19.70
Colorado 43 95% 24 74% $20.40
Connecticut 30 100% 22 90% $12.60
Delaware 15 100% 21 85% $12.60
D.C. 16 100% 21 92% $12.60
Florida 295 100% 21 84% $17.70
Georgia 71 100% 24 87% $12.60
Hawaii 20 100% 20 79% $20.40
Idaho 43 92% 25 67% $20.40
Illinois 88 100% 24 100% $16.70
Indiana 80 100% 24 77% $17.70
Iowa 31 97% 23 75% $20.40
Kansas 46 100% 23 75% $20.40
Kentucky 56 100% 24 80% $17.70
Louisiana 54 100% 21 85% $17.70
Maine 47 100% 24 85% $12.60
Maryland 33 98% 21 85% $12.60
Massachusetts 99 100% 22 88% $12.60
Michigan 127 100% 24 81% $12.60
Minnesota 37 100% 23 69% $20.40
Mississippi 27 100% 20 87% $12.60
Missouri 68 100% 24 79% $20.40
Montana 14 94% 23 75% $20.40
Nebraska 19 92% 23 74% $20.40
Nevada 36 97% 24 78% $20.20
New Hampshire 24 100% 24 79% $12.60
New Jersey 46 100% 22 84% $19.70
New Mexico 30 100% 24 91% $17.40
New York 222 100% 20 89% $12.60
North Carolina 68 100% 24 83% $12.60
North Dakota 6 23 79% $20.40
Ohio 139 100% 23 80% $12.60
Oklahoma 35 100% 23 83% $20.40
Oregon 89 100% 22 76% $12.60
Pennsylvania 220 100% 26 83% $12.60
Rhode Island 17 100% 22 85% $12.60
South Carolina 55 100% 22 81% $12.60
South Dakota 11 23 68% $20.40
Tennessee 59 100% 25 82% $17.70
Texas 177 100% 24 84% $16.70
Utah 23 95% 25 70% $20.40
Vermont 8 100% 22 80% $12.60
Virginia 96 100% 24 79% $16.70
Washington 108 93% 22 79% $12.60
West Virginia 31 100% 26 84% $12.60
Wisconsin 86 100% 25 70% $19.70
Wyoming 3 23 78% $20.40
American Samoa 1 100% $5.80
Guam 3 100% $34.40
Northern Mariana Islands 2 100% $24.80
Puerto Rico 46 100% 6 100% $11.10
U.S. Virgin Islands 1 100% $41.30

 

Ask an Agent About Medicare Decreased Premiums

Want to know if your Medicare Advantage or Part D premiums can decrease? Not sure if you have more coverage options that weren’t available last year?

Licensed insurance agents can help you determine if Medicare decreased premiums can lower your costs. Additionally, he or she can help you evaluate your coverage needs and shop for a better-suited plan. The best part is that their services come at no cost to you. To contact a licensed health insurance agent, call us at (800) 488-7621, or find an agent near you.

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References

https://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Press-releases/2017-Press-releases-items/2017-09-29.html | https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Reach-Out/Find-tools-to-help-you-help-others/2018-MA-Part-D-Landscape-State-by-State.pdf | https://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2017-Fact-Sheet-items/2017-09-29.html

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