[rsva-l] 2012 Medicare Advantage and Part D PlanOptions
abazyn at bazyncommunications.com
Thu Sep 15 13:50:14 EDT 2011
Please see the following announcement and share with your partners and colleagues
as you see appropriate.
Thank you for your continued support.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced that on average,
Medicare Advantage premiums will be 4 percent lower in 2012 than in 2011, and plans
project enrollment to increase by 10 percent. Of people with Medicare, 99.7 percent
continue to enjoy access to a Medicare Advantage plan, and benefits remain consistent
with those offered in 2011. This follows an earlier announcement that average prescription
drug plan premiums will remain virtually unchanged in 2012.
CMS was able to use authority provided by the Affordable Care Act to protect beneficiaries
from significant increases in costs or cuts in benefits in 2012, leading to average
premium declines for the second year in a row: 2012 premiums are projected to be
11.5 percent below 2010 premiums. In 2012, all beneficiaries will have access to
Medicare-covered preventive services without paying a co-pay or deductible, including
an Annual Wellness Exam with their physicians. Those who reach the donut hole will
enjoy deep discounts on brand name drugs and expanded coverage for generic drugs
under provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
This year marks an important change in Medicare's annual open enrollment, the time
period during which people can choose to change plans or shift from Medicare Advantage
to Traditional Medicare. Open Enrollment starts earlier - on October 15, 2011 - and
lasts longer (7 full weeks) to give beneficiaries more time to review and make changes
to their coverage. As a result, however, beneficiaries will need to make their elections
for next year's Medicare coverage by December 7, 2011 rather than the usual December
For the first time, in 2012 CMS will provide financial rewards to those Medicare
Advantage plans with high quality scores, under its Five-Star rating methodology.
CMS is also allowing Five-Star Medicare Advantage and Part D plans to continuously
market and enroll beneficiaries throughout the year, as an extra incentive for high
Over the next several months, CMS will work with beneficiary advocates, State Health
Insurance Assistance Programs and beneficiaries to ensure that people are well equipped
to make decisions about health coverage that will best meet their needs in 2012.
Only one percent of Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in plans that will not be
available next year, and those enrollees will receive a notice of non-renewal from
their plan in the next few weeks. Beneficiaries currently enrolled in a Medicare
Advantage plan will revert to Original Medicare if they do not choose a plan on their
own; however everyone will need to enroll in a Part D plan to keep their drug coverage.
Beneficiaries eligible for the Part D low-income subsidy will be enrolled in a zero-premium
drug plan by CMS and will have the option to select a different Medicare plan throughout
Starting October 1, 2011 users of the Medicare Plan Finder, available at
, will be able to compare plans' quality summary rating from the previous year, identify
which drugs may or may not be on a plan's formulary or be restricted, and compare
the cost ranges for plans available in their community. Information on 2012 plans
will be available online starting October 1, and on October 12
will include the plans' Five-Star quality rating.
Additional resources are available at the following links:
Press Release -
HeathCare.gov Blog Post -
Medicare Health and Drug Plan State-by-State Fact Sheets -
2012 Plan Landscape Files -
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