Medicare Advantage premiums will be 4 percent lower in 2012, and enrollment is expected to rise 10 percent, according to an announcement made Thursday by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Of people with Medicare, almost all (99.7 percent) have access to a Medicare Advantage plan. The department says benefits will remain consistent with those offered in 2011.

Compounding the savings for beneficiaries, in early August, HHS announced prescription drug premiums will not increase. The agency reports 17 million people with Medicare have also received free preventive care services this year, while 900,000 Medicare beneficiaries who hit the prescription drug donut hole have received a 50 percent discount on their prescription drugs.  

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