What’s New About Medicare Advantage Plans in 2020

There’s no doubt that health has been on many people’s minds throughout 2020. The events and challenges so far this year might leave you questioning the future of health care, but our experts at RetireMEDiQ are predicting at least one consistency for the year ahead: the continued growth of Medicare Advantage (MA) and Medicare Advantage with Prescription Drug Coverage (MAPD) plans.

The number of MA plans available to retirees in 2020 was larger than ever before, and that trend is nothing new. For the past decade, more and more individuals have opted to enroll in these plans over other options, including Medigap/Medicare Supplement plans. The Congressional Budget Office predicted that by 2030, nearly 51 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries will be in enrolled in MA plans—a drastic rise from the 13 percent of Americans enrolled in these plans in 2005. This rise in popularity makes sense when you consider the ways that MA plans have changed to better meet the needs of retiring Americans.

Why Enrollment in Medicare Advantage Plans Is Growing
Medicare Advantage plans are more robust than ever—and we don’t anticipate that changing anytime soon. Part of the growth in popularity is due to a relatively consistent investment by the federal government. In the past two years alone, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has made decisions that protect and strengthen MA plans and Part D (prescription drug coverage) programs. The impact of those decisions provides more freedom for private insurance companies to expand their list of benefits included in their MA plans while also reducing out-of-pocket expenses for retirees. In addition, the federal government is investing in MA plans by offering taxpayer subsidies designed to encourage participation in MA plans. Taxpayers have saved nearly $6 billion via lower premium subsidies over the past three years.

This funding is a positive indication that the federal government will continue to make Medicare Advantage plans a good option for individuals as they select their Medicare plans each year. When you combine the stability of MA plans with the low-cost premiums and extra benefits they offer, it’s easy to see why millions of Americans select these plans each year.

Is an MAPD Right for You?
If you are someone who loves the idea of a “one-stop-shop” style of health insurance plan, a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Advantage with Prescription Drug Coverage plan might be a good fit for you. MA and MAPD plans are required to offer all of the same coverage as Original Medicare (which includes Part A and Part B), but often comes at a lower monthly premium. Additionally, MA and MAPD plans typically have an out-of-pocket maximum for qualified medical costs, which makes it easier for you to plan for your coverage costs. In addition, MA plans have continued to add to the list of extra benefits and perks each year. Today, typical MA plans will cover your Original Medicare services and offer access to features like:

  • Expanded telehealth options
  • An over-the-counter allowance
  • Dental coverage
  • Hearing exams
  • Vision coverage
  • Fitness memberships

Your specific health insurance needs will be different than those of your neighbor and even your spouse, so it’s important to compare plans based on your needs. If you are planning to enroll in Medicare for the first time this year, or you are looking to change your Medicare plan for next year during the 2021 Open Enrollment Period, we encourage you to reach out to RetireMEDiQ so our trained experts can help you understand your plan options. It’s never too early to start planning! Contact our advisor team at 1-855-999-7981 or email us at programadvisorteam@retiremediq.com.

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