The Kaiser Family Foundation recently released reports on Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D plan offerings in 2022. The MA report notes that “[f]or 2022, the average Medicare beneficiary has access to 39 Medicare Advantage plans, more than double the number of plans per person in 2017, and the largest number of options available in more than a decade”. This amount varies: “On average, beneficiaries in metropolitan areas can choose from many more Medicare Advantage plans than beneficiaries in non-metropolitan areas (42 plans versus 25 plans, respectively).”
With respect to types of MA plans, the report notes:
HMOs account for about six in ten (59%) of all plans offered in 2022, a slight decline from prior years where they accounted for about two-thirds of all plans offered. The availability of local PPOs has increased rapidly over recent years. In 2022, more than one-third of plans (37%) offered are local PPOs, compared to a quarter in 2018. Between 2021 and 2022, the number of regional PPOs has remained constant, while the number of private fee-for-service plans has continued to decline.
In short, the report states that “[m]ore Medicare Advantage plans are being offered for 2022 than in any other year. Twenty insurers are entering the Medicare Advantage market for the first time, and seven insurers are exiting the market, suggesting that Medicare Advantage remains an attractive, profitable market for insurers.”
With respect to Part D plans, the Part D report notes, among other findings, that “[t]he average Medicare beneficiary has a choice of 54 Medicare plans with Part D drug coverage in 2022, including 23 Medicare stand-alone drug plans and 31 Medicare advantage drug plans.”
The report notes that the total number of plans is decreasing, along with the number of plans that are premium-free to individuals receiving the Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) (called benchmark plans), both of which are “primarily the result of consolidations of PDP offerings sponsored by Cigna and Centene”.
The Kaiser Family Foundation notes in its Part D report that “[o]ur analysis of the Medicare Part D stand-alone drug plan landscape for 2022 shows that millions of Part D enrollees without low-income subsidies will face premium and other cost increases in 2022 if they stay in their current stand-alone drug plan.”
Note that a sizeable group of beneficiaries will be moved or “crosswalked” to different plans in the new year. According to a post on Q1Medicare.com, administered by Q1Group LLC, an “independent education, research, and technology company”, “[o]ver 4.4 million people currently enrolled in a 2021 Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plans will be automatically moved to a different 2022 Medicare plan”.
More specifically, approximately 3,229,000 members in non-renewing 2021 stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plans (PDPs) and an additional 1,195,000 members in non-renewing Medicare Advantage plans (MA and MAPDs) will be automatically “crosswalked” to new 2021 Medicare plans. (This is not considering the almost 190,000 people losing 2022 Medicare plan coverage without being crosswalked.)
November 11, 2021 – D. Lipschutz