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Premiums for Medicare Advantage Insurance Plans Decline

By Kerry Young, CQ Roll Call

September 22, 2016 -- Medicare officials on Thursday said the average monthly premiums will slip by $1.19, or about 4 percent, next year for customers of the insurer-run Advantage plans.

The average premium may drop to $31.40 from $32.59 for this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said in a statement. About two-third of people in the program, or 67 percent, will see premiums remain stable or drop, according to CMS. 

Enrollment in the Medicare Advantage program has grown rapidly in recent years. The insurer-run plans often offer benefits that traditional Medicare does not, such as dental, vision and hearing benefits. The number of people in Advantage plans may rise to 18.5 million next year, a 60 percent increase from 2010. Almost a third, or 32 percent, of all the people enrolled in Medicare will then be in an insurer-run plan, up from 24 percent in 2010.

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