Medicare Advantage Enrollment Doubled in Past Decade

A new study shows Medicare Advantage now accounts for 42 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries, with 26 million individuals enrolled in the program.

Enrollment in Medicare Advantage has nearly doubled over the last decade, with 26 million individuals now enrolled in the program, according to a new report from the Better Medicare Alliance.

According to the 2021 “State of Medicare Advantage” report, Medicare Advantage enrollees represented 42 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries, and enrollment is projected to increase to more than 50 percent of total Medicare enrollment by 2030.

One of the key drivers for the growth in Medicare Advantage enrollment is simply increased access to Medicare Advantage plans. In 2021, Medicare beneficiaries have access to more than 4,800 plans offered across the United States, compared to 2,100 plans in 2017. Moreover, of the 4,800 plans offered, 2,900 of them serve rural counties.

Some additional, top-line findings:

  • Ninety-eight percent of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries are satisfied with their coverage, while 97 percent are specifically satisfied with their network of physicians, hospitals, and specialists.
  • Medicare Advantage beneficiaries had 41 percent fewer avoidable acute hospitalizations and 18 percent fewer chronic hospitalizations than traditional FFS Medicare beneficiaries.
  • More than 94 percent of Medicare Advantage plans offer additional telehealth benefits, reaching 20.7 million beneficiaries.
  • Twenty-one percent more Medicare Advantage beneficiaries received a physician visit within 14 days of discharge compared to traditional FFS Medicare beneficiaries.

“This report is a testament to the importance of continued stability and support from policymakers — both for the 26.5 million beneficiaries who choose Medicare Advantage now, and the additional 10,000 Americans who age into Medicare each day,” said Allyson Y. Schwartz, President and CEO of the Better Medicare Alliance. “As Congress and the Biden Administration work to address health disparities, lower consumer costs, and accelerate the move to value-based care, our research shows how Medicare Advantage is leading the way and is a critical partner in these efforts to modernize and improve health care delivery.”

Click here to read the full report and click here to read a summary.


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