Enrollment Up, Premiums Down in Medicare Advantage Plans

Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans has risen by 10% in the past year and premiums have dropped by 7%, despite billions of dollars in reimbursement cuts to the program, HHS officials announced Wednesday.

Enrollment in the plans -- which are run by private insurers -- has grown from 11.7 million Medicare beneficiaries in 2011 to 12.8 million in 2012, a 17% increase. The average premium has dropped by more than $2 per month since last year and now averages $31.54 per month, according to the

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Medicare Advantage plans were targeted by Democrats as an area in which to cut spending during debate over the Affordable Care Act (ACA), in part because the private plans used to be paid about 13% more than traditional Medicare plans. A recent Government Accountability Office study found the government overpaid private insurance companies administering Medicare Advantage plans by as much as $3.1 billion in 2010.

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Source: MedPage Today