Turning the Spotlight on Medicare Advantage for 2017
Medicare Advantage plans, which consist primarily of HMOs and PPOs, now cover almost 18 million people – nearly one-third of all Medicare beneficiaries. Medicare Advantage plans have been in the news lately because the proposed merger between Aetna and Humana, which together account for one-quarter of all Medicare Advantage enrollees, could further consolidate the Medicare Advantage market.
A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis, featuring the latest publicly available data on the 2017 Medicare marketplace, examines new information on plan availability, premiums, out-of-pocket limits and other features of Medicare Advantage plans. Overall, the analysis finds that the Medicare Advantage market has been relatively stable in recent years, with few changes in premiums, plan offerings, and insurer participation. Key findings include:
- The average Medicare beneficiary will be able to choose from 19 plans in 2017, a number which has been relatively stable since 2012.
- While premiums have been relatively flat, average limits on out-of-pocket costs for Part A and B benefits have increased by 25 percent since 2011, from $4,281 in 2011 to $5,332 in 2017.
- About one-quarter of beneficiaries will have a choice of plans offered by three or fewer firms in 2017.