Medicare and Medicare Advantage have some changes each year. CMS is always trying to improve their service for members, so the changes are made with the goal of making members happy and provide better health services. Here are a few of the highlights for 2016:
- The number of overall plans available in Medicare Advantage is up 3% for 2016. Plans are trying to offer more options to better accommodate more members and giving them more options. The increased offering and increased competition can only help seniors who depend on Medicare for their health costs.
- The average American will have access to 19 plans, but those outside metropolitan areas will only have access to 11 plans. Rural areas will always have less choice in health services, and there are some markets that will have as few as three options.
- CMS sets an out of pocket maximum for members who are enrolled in Medicare. For 2016 that maximum will be going up to $6700 per year. Plans are then free to set their own out of pocket maximum, which can be lower than that set by CMS. 39% off all plans have the maximum of $6700 and the rest will have a minimum lower than that. Plans can use this as another way to be competitive in their marketplace.
- The average plan rating will be higher for Medicare 2016 than 2015 due to an increase in 4 and 4.5 star rated providers.