CMS: Most Medicare Advantage beneficiaries won't see premiums rise in 2024

Expect premiums, benefits and plan choices for Medicare Advantage (MA) and the Medicare Part D prescription drug program to look similar in 2024, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said Tuesday.

The average monthly plan premium for MA plans, which is projected to increase nearly 4%, will go up from $17.86 to $18.50, but, if enrollees choose to stay in their plan, they will likely not see any price increase, according to a press release. Ahead of Medicare’s open enrollment period beginning Oct. 15, CMS expects 73% of beneficiaries will not see a premium increase, while the number of plans and supplemental benefits will both increase.

“Today’s release shows that, as expected, people with Medicare will continue to have robust options and stable benefit offerings in the MA market,” said CMS Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Medicare Meena Seshamani, M.D., Ph.D., in a statement. “We encourage individuals eligible for Medicare to review these options as well as Traditional Medicare and enroll in the option that best meets their health needs.”

Enrollment in MA is projected to increase from 31.6 million to 33.8 million in 2024, a figure that would represent 50% of all people enrolled in Medicare.

CMS pointed to the Inflation Reduction Act as a reason people will have access to a $35 cost-sharing limit on a month’s supply of insulin, adult vaccines at no additional cost and savings through the Low-Income Subsidy program,

More than 1,500 MA plans will participate in the CMS Innovation Center’s Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) model in 2024, designed to test offering food and nutrition benefits. Under the VBID’s hospital benefit component, 78 MA plans in 19 states and U.S. territories will provide palliative and integrated hospice care.

In July, CMS announced the average total monthly premium for Medicare Part D would decrease 1.8% from 2023 from $56.49 to $55.50.