Reid Announces New Plan Options for Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage

Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid today announced new plan options for Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage that will be available in 2011.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the options which include lower premiums and protect the benefits for Nevada seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage.

“Protecting and strengthening Medicare for Nevada’s seniors was one of my top priorities while leading the Senate in passing the new health reform law,” Reid said.  “In addition to protecting the benefits that Medicare Advantage enrollees currently receive, these new plan options have lower premiums on average and protect beneficiaries from unfair cost increases while offering new benefits as a result of the new law.  This is the beginning of the stronger Medicare we worked for and that will be there for seniors for decades to come.”

The new options to Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D include:

  • Lower premiums: On average, Medicare Advantage premiums will be 1 percent lower in 2011 than today.
  • Increased enrollment: Medicare Advantage plans project enrollment in the program to increase by 5 percent in 2011.
  • Unchanged access to Medicare Advantage: Virtually the same percentage of beneficiaries will have access to Medicare Advantage plans in 2011 (99.7 percent).
  • Access to Prescription Drug Plans for all beneficiaries: All Medicare beneficiaries will continue to have many choices of prescription drug plans.
  • New benefits for 2011: The Affordable Care Act provides for free wellness visits, free health screenings, and a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs for seniors in the drug doughnut hole.
  • New Affordable Care Act tools save beneficiaries an additional $150 million for 2011: Using new authorities from the Affordable Care Act, CMS negotiated with plans to stop excessive premium and cost-sharing increases, improving benefits by 5 percent on average, saving beneficiaries enrolled in those plans $150 million for 2011.

Additionally, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act also benefits Medicare beneficiaries by extending the solvency of the program by 12 years and providing $250 checks to seniors who have hit the coverage gap in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program this year, and begins to close it in 2011.

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