For the first time, one in three people in Medicare are now enrolled in Medicare Advantage (MA), according to a new analysis from Kaiser Family Foundation. The new analysis, “Medicare Advantage 2017 Spotlight: Enrollment Market Update,” examines trends in the MA market, including cost sharing and premiums, market penetration, and market share of the top three MA firms by state.
Some key takeaways:
- MA has grown by 70% since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
- 33%, or 19 million beneficiaries, are now enrolled in MA in 2017.
- UnitedHealthcare and Humana account for 41% of all enrollment. In 17 states, one company has more than half of all MA enrollment. This indicates these markets may not yet be very competitive.
- At least 40% of Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare private plans in six states: CA, FL, HI, MN, OR, and PA. In contrast, fewer than 20% of Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in MA plans in 13 states plus the District of Columbia.
- While premiums have remained relatively stable, enrollees could be liable for more of the out-of-pocket costs, with Part D deductibles rising nine times since 2011 and out-of-pocket limits increasing 21%.
The stats reinforce what we already suspect about MA – it is still the most viable government health program for insurers to enter. Simultaneously, while Congress and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are poised to create cuts to ACA, Medicare, and Medicaid, the MA program is graced with overwhelming bipartisan approval and, in the face of partisan stalemate, may actually see some beneficial changes come through legislation this year.
The full report is available here.
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