Open enrollment season for Medicare is here, and eligible seniors and individuals with disabilities should know that the projected average Medicare Advantage premium for 2023 has dropped nearly 8% to $18 a month. Keep in mind, that’s the average premium — many Medicare Advantage plans offer even lower or $0 monthly premium plans.
Nearly 30 million Americans rely on Medicare Advantage — a number the government says may surge to nearly 32 million in the next year. The share of eligible beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage has more than doubled since 2007.
Why do so many Americans choose Medicare Advantage? They share many reasons, but it comes down to this: better services, better access to care, and better value.
Medicare Advantage helps keep seniors and people with disabilities healthy with better services and benefits. Not only do most Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage, but they also include benefits that original Medicare doesn’t cover, such as integrated vision, hearing, dental, wellness programs, and in-home caregiver support.
Medicare Advantage provides essential coverage for telehealth visits as well, which many Medicare Advantage members rely on in order to safely and efficiently access high-quality care. For example, Coalition for Medicare Choices member Pat accessed mental health support through telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Telehealth is especially important for those living in rural areas – including 3.7 million Medicare Advantage members — who otherwise would have to travel long distances to access care.
Medicare Advantage plans are committed to supporting members’ access to the care and treatment they need — and helping seniors and those with disabilities overcome barriers to good health — through supplemental benefits like transportation to and from appointments, prescription drug delivery, home delivery of healthy food, and more. Hear from Coalition member Charlene about the importance of her transportation benefits through Medicare Advantage.
For millions of Medicare Advantage enrollees — particularly those on a fixed income, the 40% of enrollees who make less than $25,000 a year, and the 9 million enrollees who live below 200% of the poverty level — affordability and value are critically important. Medicare Advantage’s low- or no-premium plans and capped out-of-pocket costs allow members to access high-quality care that they may not have been able to afford under original Medicare. In fact, 98% of Medicare-eligible Americans have access to a $0 premium Medicare Advantage plan with drug coverage.
A recent study provides additional evidence that, looking at comparable coverage and patient populations, Medicare Advantage is less expensive than original Medicare. Not only is this good for enrollees, but it’s also good for taxpayers — saving billions of taxpayer dollars each year.
And despite costing less, Medicare Advantage delivers better quality, outperforming original Medicare on 16 out of 16 different clinical quality measures. Seniors with Medicare Advantage are overwhelmingly satisfied with the benefits they receive — including 9 in 10 reporting satisfaction with both their preventive services and prescription drug coverage.
Considering all of this, it’s no surprise that 93% of senior voters with Medicare Advantage are satisfied with their coverage. As Americans consider their options during this open enrollment period, the Coalition for Medicare Choices is underscoring the better services, better access to care, and better value that nearly 30 million enrollees already depend on.