The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2022 premiums, deductibles and other key information for Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans in advance of the annual Medicare Open Enrollment to help Medicare enrollees decide on coverage that fits their needs. The average premium for Medicare Advantage plans will be lower in 2022 at $19 per month, compared to $21.22 in 2021, while projected enrollment continues to increase. As previously announced, the average 2022 premium for Part D coverage will be $33 per month, compared to $31.47 in 2021.
An increasing number of Medicare Advantage dual eligible special needs plans cover both Medicare and Medicaid services for people who are dually eligible. In 2022, 295 plans (compared to 256 in 2021), will cover all Medicare services, plus Medicaid-covered behavioral health treatment or long term services and supports, through a single organization.
CMS will continue to test the Part D Senior Savings Model in more than 2,100 plans in 2022, increasing access and affordability to select insulins for seniors. Over 500 new Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans, and two new pharmaceutical manufacturers of insulin, are joining the model this year to provide even more opportunities for eligible seniors to reduce their out-of-pocket spending on insulin.
Additionally, more than 1,000 Medicare Advantage plans will participate in the CMS Innovation Center’s Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) Model in 2022, which tests the effect of offering a projected 3.7 million people customized benefits that are designed to better manage their disease(s) and meet a wide range of social needs, from food insecurity to social isolation. The VBID Model’s Hospice Benefit Component, now in its second year, will also be offered by 115 Medicare Advantage plans in portions of 22 states and U.S. territories and provides enrollees increased access to palliative and integrated hospice care.
Medicare Open Enrollment begins on October 15, 2021, and ends on December 7, 2021. During this time, people eligible for Medicare can compare 2022 coverage options between Original Medicare, and Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans. Medicare health and drug plan costs and covered benefits can change from year to year, so people with Medicare should look at their coverage choices annually and decide on the options that best meet their health needs.
To help with their Medicare costs, low-income seniors and adults with disabilities may qualify to receive financial assistance from the Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs). The MSPs are essential to help millions of Americans access high-quality health care at a reduced cost, yet only about half of eligible people are enrolled. The MSPs help pay Medicare premiums and may also pay Original Medicare deductibles, coinsurance and copayments if people meet the conditions of eligibility. Enrolling in an MSP offers relief from these Medicare costs, allowing people to spend that money on food, housing or transportation.