- Half of eligible Medicare beneficiaries are now enrolling in private Medicare Advantage coverage, according to recently released data from the CMS.
- Of the 59.82 million people who qualify for a Medicare Part A and Medicare B private plan, 30.19 million, or over half of those who qualify, enrolled in January 2023, according to a Monday report from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
- Plan A and Plan B enrollment increased by two percentage points from 48% in 2022, according to the nonprofit’s analysis. That means MA now has more enrollees than original Medicaid, a report from Barrons noted.
Medicare Advantage plans aim to provide more affordable coverage to consumers from private carriers. The plans bundle Part A hospital coverage, Part B outpatient coverage and often Part D drug coverage as well as other perks like gym memberships. The “one-stop shopping” of MA is a big draw for beneficiaries, according to KFF.
The KFF analysis notes the steady increase in MA enrollment since 2007, when one in five Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in a private plan. KFF attributes growth in MA enrollment to potential lower out-of-pocket spending as well as additional benefits like vision, hearing and dental services.
For its analysis, KFF pulled data from CMS Medicare Advantage Enrollment files and the CMS Medicare Enrollment Dashboard.
Meanwhile, health payers like Humana have raised their confidence in MA growth. Humana has forecasted that its 2023 MA membership will rise 17% compared to 2022.
And average monthly MA premiums are increasing. A report from eHealth found that monthly premiums had increased by 50% from 2022 to 2023.
The report comes after the CMS predicted that MA premiums would fall almost 8% in 2023.
The ability for MA to serve a diverse population and improve healthcare equity could be an important factor in the growth of the program, according to KFF.
“As the role of Medicare Advantage grows, so will interest in understanding how well the program serves the increasingly diverse group of enrollees who receive their Medicare coverage from private insurers, including a disproportionate share of Black, Hispanic and Asian and Pacific Islander beneficiaries,” the KFF report stated.