Medicare Advantage Enrollment to Rise, Premium Costs Dip

Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media , September 22, 2010

Nearly the same rate of Medicare beneficiaries who have access to a Medicare Advantage plan today will have access to a Medicare Advantage plan in 2011 (99.7%), according to CMS. About 5% of non-employer beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage and stand-alone prescription drug plans will need to choose a new health plan or original Medicare in 2010 because their current plan is not renewing their contracts with Medicare in 2011.

Most of these "non-renewals" occurred when private fee-for-service plans made business decisions to leave Medicare in certain areas of the country—largely because of a 2008 law that ensures protections for beneficiaries enrolled in these plans in certain areas of the country. All but 2,300 enrollees in Medicare Advantage plans that no longer participate in Medicare will have a choice of enrolling in a different plan.

Janice Simmons is a senior editor and Washington, DC, correspondent for HealthLeaders Media Online. She can be reached at
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