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Preparing for the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period: Important Facts about Medicare Advantage Premiums

As the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period approaches, out-of-pocket costs is one of every Medicare beneficiary’s primary concerns. A Harris Poll revealed more than half of participants didn’t know there was a premium for Medicare Part B, and nearly three in 10 of the participants believed Medicare costs are the same for everyone. Read on to learn important facts about premiums, so you can make an informed choice.

Part B Premium is a Given

Regardless of whether you choose a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage Plan, you have to pay for the Part B premium, which varies based on your income. While Medicare Supplements help pay for out-of-pocket costs not covered by Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans may provide additional benefits, such as dental, vision, hearing, or prescription drug coverage.

Medicare Supplement Premiums Are Rising

According to CSG Actuarial, Medicare Supplement premiums have been rising steadily since 2004 and are projected to continue to rise through 2027. Medicare Supplement plans don’t provide coverage for services not included in Original Medicare Parts A and B.

Medicare Advantage Premiums Are Declining

The Kaiser Family Foundation reports Medicare Advantage premiums have been slowly declining since 2015. Not only are Medicare beneficiaries saving money with Medicare Advantage Plans, many are getting more benefits. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 90 percent of Medicare Advantage Plans offered prescription drug coverage in 2019, and 88 percent of Medicare Advantage enrollees chose plans that included this coverage. And, 56 percent of these beneficiaries pay no premium for their plan, other than for Medicare Part B.

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is a Good Time to Review Your Premiums

No one wants to pay more than they should for healthcare. Providers have an opportunity to change their benefits, costs, networks, and more every year. The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, which runs from October 15 through December 7, is your prime opportunity to re-evaluate how well your current coverage and premiums fit your health and financial needs, and learn what new options are available, so you can make an informed and confident choice.

Get Help During the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period

Our Medicare Advocates are standing by throughout the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period and all year long to provide no-cost personalized assistance with premiums, plan comparisons and more. Simply call 1-800-991-4407 / TTY 711 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern, Monday through Friday.

You can also use the Medicare Online Enrollment Portal to conveniently find and compare Medicare Advantage Plans available in your area, including prescription drug coverage and physician networks. Once you find the right plan, you can enroll through the same portal.