The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today released premium and cost information for Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans for the 2017 calendar year. The average Medicare Advantage premium will decrease by $1.19 to $31.40, while the average monthly premium for a basic Medicare Part D prescription drug plan will increase by $1.44 to $34, the agency estimates. The average number of MA plan choices per county is roughly unchanged from 2016, CMS said. It projects Medicare Advantage enrollment will climb for the seventh consecutive year in 2017 to 18.5 million, or 32% of Medicare beneficiaries. Open enrollment for 2017 Medicare health and drug plans begins Oct. 15.