During early April of each year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS), which is the agency of the federal government that administers Medicare, announces funding changes for Medicare Advantage (MA) Plans that will apply the following January 1st.
This funding is the lifeblood of MA Plans. Regardless of where a Medicare beneficiary (senior citizen) might reside, annual adjustments to Medicare funding directly impacts every MA plan in America.
The amount of out-of-pocket expenses for medical care a Medicare Beneficiary will incur are directly impacted by CMS’s funding decisions. In addition, ancillary benefits such as dental, vision, hearing, health club memberships, and others rise and fall based on this annual funding decision.
Since 2009, there has been only one year when funding failed to increase sufficiently to support improved benefits. That year was 2013. Since 2013, CMS funding increases have resulted in handsome improvements in out-of-pocket costs to Medicare Beneficiaries, as well as attractive improvements in ancillary benefits.
On April 6th, CMS announced a funding increase of 3.32% for MA Plans. So what does this mean for MA Plan members? The answer is, if you like your plan now, you will like it in 2024.
Since 2013, each year there has been an increase in funding of 3%, or more, MA Plans were able to significantly lower plan out-of-pocket costs, as well as enhance ancillary benefits, particularly dental benefits, each of those years.
Last year the funding increase was 8.5%, which is a staggering number. In the state of Florida that increase resulted in every MA Plan significantly lowering out-of-pocket costs and improving ancillary benefits, especially dental. Dental benefits of many of these plans are now more appealing than employer-based group dental plans.
Explaining the funding of MA Plans is tedious and, for most people, it would be very confusing, so I will not go there in this blog. But please understand, if you are enrolled in a MA Plan now and like it, you will like it in 2024.
All Americans are acutely aware of the increasing cost of living we have experienced the past two years. I hope this blog will serve to calm your concerns about the cost, if any, and benefits of your MA Plan for 2024.
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