Newtown Sq, PA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/16/2018 -- People on Medicare will be able to chose from 24 plans during the yearly Medicare open enrollment period.
In 2019, 2,734 Medicare Advantage Plans are available for general enrollment, nationally, this is more than any year since 2009. Along with the increase in plans offered, 14 new insurers are entering the field for the first time and five are leaving. With the latest increase in insurers, there are 200 insurers offering Medicare Advantage plans for 2019. "Currently, Medicare Advantage enrollment is over 20 million, more than doubling in the last ten years," says Clelland Green, RHU, CEO, benepath.com.
Additionally, for Medicare Part D, there will be 27 stand-alone choices, an addition of four new plans. Although this is an increase in drug plan offerings, it has not yet reached the 2007 peak of 56 plans. The total number of drug plans offered for 2019 is 901, a good indicator of greater availability of choice for beneficiaries.
"Pay close attention to the new offerings and compare them with what you have now," added Green. "You are likely to see a small increase in monthly premiums if you choose to stay in your current plan, with premiums going up to $41.21 from $40.57."
Even with a modest increase in premiums, Medicare Advantage beneficiaries are still getting a much wider choice of plans for not that much more. While the choices have greatly expanded, it is likely most seniors are contemplating buying a plan based on budget constraints.
Part D beneficiaries are facing modest cost-sharing expenses for generic drugs in 2019. However, there are much higher cost-sharing prices for non-preferred drugs and brand name drugs.
"If you take the time to do some research and talk to an insurance agent, you are going to get a good deal at a good price," stated Green. "It's always best to check out your options as frequently as you can, as these days, the health insurance industry is changing rapidly."
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