Q: What does Medicare Advantage cost?
A: Those who enroll in Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage, sold through private insurers) pay premiums in addition to the $104.90 (in 2015) they pay for Part B. CMS has said that the average Medicare Advantage premium is expected to decline slightly (by 31 cents) in 2016, from an average of $32.91 in 2015 to $32.60. And nearly six out of ten Medicare Advantage enrollees won’t have a premium increase in 2016.
But in 2016, the Part B premium is expected to increase to $159.30/month, but only for Part B enrollees who aren’t receiving a Social Security check; for those who are receiving Social Security, the Part B premium will remain unchanged in 2016 (high-income Medicare beneficiaries pay more for Part B, and that will continue to be the case in 2016; it’s expected they’ll see premiums that are 52 percent higher than what they pay in 2015).
95 percent of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries will have access to at least one zero-premium policy in 2016 (up from about 75 percent in 2015). Although these plans have higher out-of-pocket costs than plans with premiums, they make it possible for enrollees to have full coverage yet pay only the monthly premium for Medicare Part B.