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Markets Work ➡ Medicare Advantage, Part D Premiums Drop to Lowest in Years


WASHINGTON, DC – Republican policies are proving that markets work to lower health care costs for consumers. This week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that 2020 premiums for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D are expected to drop to the lowest level in years.

“This proven record of success—decreasing premiums in both Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D—contrasts with proposals for a total government takeover of healthcare, which would destroy options such as Medicare Advantage that seniors increasingly choose,” said Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar in the announcement.

From the announcement

  • The Medicare Advantage average monthly plan premium is expected to decrease 14 percent to $23.00 (estimated) in 2020 from an average of $26.87 in 2019. This is the lowest that the average monthly premium for a Medicare Advantage plan has been since 2007.
  • The projected average monthly basic Part D premium of $30 in 2020 is the lowest the Part D basic premium has been since 2013.

These programs – based on Republican policy and principles – are delivering results for consumers. Now, Democrats want to upend that progress, and enact policies like price controls through the Pelosi plan.

This will do little to drive down drug costs for Americans and do a lot to stifle innovation for new cures and treatments for diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s.

WATCH – As Energy and Commerce Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) said: “When it comes to setting prices, I was on the Committee when we passed Medicare Part D. It was a huge fight, it’s true. And there was a decision made to establish the program the way it is, and Democrats did want to set prices. In fact, they wanted to put in statute the Part D premium and index it to inflation – $35 in 2006. Had they done that, it’d be $46 today. This week, Medicare announced the premium in 2020 will be $30 per month, not $35, and certainly not $46. That’s about a third lower for seniors than if you had followed the Democrats’ plan to lock it in statute.”

Walden’s bottom line: “There’s a way to make the free market work for consumers.”

Medicare Advantage premiums to hit lowest point in over a decade

Shelby Livingston

The CMS on Tuesday said Medicare Advantage average monthly premiums are projected to hit their lowest point in 13 years in 2020. The agency also predicted that enrollment in the plans would continue its upward march as more seniors opt for Advantage over the traditional Medicare program.

Average monthly premiums are expected to decrease 14.4% from $26.87 in 2019 to $23 next year—the lowest premium since 2007, according to the CMS. Seniors enrolling in Advantage plans will have more plan choices, with the average number of plans per county increasing to 39 plans in 2020 from 33 plans this year.

The CMS also projected that enrollment in the plans will hit 24.4 million next year, an increase of 9.9% from 22.2 million currently. Medicare Advantage open enrollment kicks off on Oct. 15 and ends Dec. 7 for coverage that begins Jan. 1, 2020.

“President (Donald) Trump has promised American patients a system with affordable, personalized healthcare, a system that puts you in control, provides peace of mind, and treats you like a human being, not a number,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in the news announcement. “That is what CMS has been delivering with its improvements to Medicare Advantage: lower costs, more options, and benefits tailored to patients’ needs.”

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Health (116th Congress)
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