New Medicare Advantage Plans Released for 2018
In 2017, approximately 33% of Medicare beneficiaries were already enrolled in some form of Medicare Advantage plan. It looks like this number will increase in 2018 when new Medicare Advantage plans being released to eligible Medicare beneficiaries.
The following information outlines the 2018 Medicare Advantage benefits, choices, and availability which can be selected during the open enrollment process.
2018 Medicare Advantage Plans
Topics will include:
- Number of Plans
- Plan Accessibility
- Plan Variation
- Firms Offering Plans
- Market Entrants/Exits
The good news is that current Medicare beneficiaries will be able to choose from over 21 Medicare Advantage plans in 2018. The number of plans from which to choose from amount to 2,317 in total.
Total Number of Plans
During 2018, the total amount of Medicare Advantage plans will be available throughout the country for those eligible to enroll. The new plans have increased Medicare choices by approximately 14%. This will be the largest number of Medicare Advantage plans being offered since 2009.
The increase is largely due to more HMOs and PPOs. In 2018, there will be 179 new HMOs and 100 new PPOs, operating at the local level, being offered Nationwide.
The number of plans being made available to beneficiaries in 2018 is the largest amount being offered since 2011.
Of the 21 Medicare Advantage plans available to Medicare beneficiaries, 18 will include coverage for prescription drugs.
However, the pool of plans from which to choose from will largely be dictated by where the beneficiaries live. Those situated in metropolitan areas will have twice the amount of plans to choose from as compared with those living outside of metropolitan cities.
Of the 3,138 counties in the United States, 149 will offer Medicare Advantage plans in 2018. This may seem like there will be only a small number of people who will actually be able to benefit from the new Advantage plans, but considering that only 1% of Medicare beneficiaries live outside the counties offering such plans, the number is actually quite small.
The number of Medicare beneficiaries living in these 149 counties equates to roughly 93% of all Medicare members and roughly 83% of them will be able to choose at least one HMO and one local PPO under the new Medical Advantage plan offerings.
As already stipulated above, the number of Advantage plans that will be made available to eligible Medicare members will vary widely from county to county.
On average most counties will offer at least 12 Medicare Advantage plans. Only 7% of Medicare counties will offer 30 plans and approximately 27% of these counties will offer 5 plans or less.
Firms Offering Plans
There will be six firms offering Medicare Advantage plans in 2018 for most Medicare members nationwide.
Counties located in New York, California, Florida, and Ohio will offer more firms from which to choose from (12 or more in selected areas within these states), and most of the rural counties offering Medicare Advantage plans will only provide one firm from which to choose from.
These variations equate to 22% of Medicare beneficiaries being able to choose from 3 firms or less with the remainder of beneficiaries being able to choose from 6 firms or more.
How Many Insurers will be Offering Medicare Advantage Plans in 2018?
In 2018, over 100 insurers will be offering Medicare Advantage plans. Of these insurers, seven are new and are offering Advantage plans for the first time. The new insurers include those offering only special needs advantage plans and brand new start-up insurance companies.
Five old insurers will be leaving the Medicare Advantage plan market next year stating that many of the Medicare Advantage plans are not profitable, especially when having to compete with over 100 different insurance companies within the Medicare market.