Little change in Medicare Advantage premiums as enrollment keeps climbing

Medicare Advantage premiums for next year are set to remain stable, while enrollment is projected to increase to an all-time high.

The announcement comes from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which explained that the average MA premium will decrease by $0.31 next year--from $32.91 in 2015 to $32.60 in 2016. Additionally, about 59 percent of MA enrollees will not experience an increase in premiums.

While 99 percent of MA beneficiaries have access to a plan, as CMS points out, more than 58 percent of beneficiaries also were able to choose from at least 15 plans in 2015, and 94 percent had at least five plan options, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

The MA program has soared in popularity since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. By 2016, the program is expected to have 17.4 million enrollees, accounting for 32 percent of the overall Medicare population, the CMS report states.

Medicare Part D premiums will also remain stable next year at $32.50 per month, according to CMS. Since implementation of the Affordable Care Act, more than 9.8 million consumers with Medicare coverage have saved more than $17.6 billion on prescription drugs through July 2015.

The CMS announcement comes amid a recent article from the Wall Street Journal predicted that nearly a third of Medicare beneficiaries may face a 52 percent increase in Part B premiums unless the Department of Health and Human Services steps in.

For more:
- here's the CMS announcement