CMS releases 2022 Medicare Advantage and Part D Rate announcement

Jan. 19, 2021

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced 2022 Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D rates three months earlier than usual providing Medicare health and prescription drug plans more time to consider this information as they prepare and finalize their bids for 2022, which are due June 7, 2021. 

The announcement follows the release of the Contract Year 2022 MA and Part D Final rule on Jan. 15, 2021 that includes additional policies applicable to coverage for the 2022 plan year and will potentially lower beneficiary cost sharing on some of the most expensive prescription drugs. This earlier release of the Rate Announcement, along with the policies announced in the 2022 MA and Part D Final Rule, will help Medicare Advantage and Part D plans better plan for 2022 plan costs, in light of the uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For the past four years, CMS has prioritized flexibility and competition in Medicare Advantage and Part D to spectacular effect. Since 2017, Medicare Advantage premiums have plunged 34 percent, and Part D premiums are down 12 percent. Crucially, these premium reductions have come with new and better benefits, as beneficiaries also enjoy more plan options. 

Additionally, this year’s public health emergency led to policy changes, including for the 2022 Star Ratings calculations described in COVID-19 interim final rules that appeared in the Federal Register on April 6, 2020 and Sep. 2, 2020. 

The Rate Announcement also: includes the date by which plans must submit requests for changes to the appeals and complaints measures data for Star Ratings; lists the measures included in the Part C and D Improvement measures and the Categorical Adjustment Index for the 2022 Star Ratings; and lists the states and territories with Individual Assistance designations from the FEMA major disaster declarations used in the definition of an affected contract for the 2022 Star Ratings extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy. 

CMS has the release