Each year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announces changes in costs and coverage for the upcoming year prior to Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period. The information can help you decide if you’d like to explore your Medicare options during OEP, which starts October 15 and ends December 7. Let’s take a quick look at how Medicare Advantage monthly premiums may change in 2022.
According to CMS, the average premium for Medicare Advantage plans will be lower in 2022 at $19 per month, compared to $21.22 in 2021. Increases in projected enrollment are expected to continue. Currently, there are approximately 26.9 million people enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans. These numbers are expected to increase in 2022 to approximately 29.5 million. Many recipients choose to enroll in Medicare Advantage due to the additional benefits offered by plans.
Medicare Advantage plans are required to include all of the Part A and Part B benefits of Original Medicare, but many plans include sought-after coverage including, but not limited to:
- Prescription drugs
- Vision and dental care
- Hearing exams, hearing aids, and fittings
- Over the counter allowances
- Fitness and wellness programs
If you’re already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, but you’d like to lower your premiums, increase coverage, or make a switch due to changes in your health, now is the time to start planning ahead. During Open Enrollment, you’ll have the opportunity to make changes that may save you money in the upcoming year.
Even if you’re satisfied with your current coverage, you may want to explore the options available in your area. Compare other plans to your current one. You should have received your ANOC, or Annual Notice of Change, from your Medicare Advantage plan, so you know what changes are expected in the coming year. Review the ANOC carefully and compare your plan to others available. You may continue with your current plan if it continues to meet your needs. On the other hand, if you find a plan that better suits your current healthcare coverage needs, you can make a change during the Open Enrollment Period.