In a release, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that for the fourth year running, there has been growth in the number of seniors enrolling in higher quality Medicare Advantage (MA).
According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), the average MA premium for 2014 will be only about $1.64 up from last year, bringing the premium payment to $32.60. MA programs are rated on a star system (1 to 5, with 5 being the best) to help consumers compare plans.
CMS estimates a lower premium for Medicare prescription drug plans, at about $31/month. All Medicare Part D beneficiaries can access a plan with a lower cost than in 2013.
“Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans remain strong and continue to provide improved benefits and low premiums for beneficiaries,” says Sebelius. She adds that “people with Medicare do not need to enroll in the new health insurance marketplaces."
Open enrollment for health and drug plans begins on Oct. 1 and runs through Dec. 7. To learn more about Medicare open enrollment and various plan comparisons, visit the Medicare Open Enrollment Center.