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How Do Quality and Access Compare In Medicare Advantage Versus Traditional Medicare?

Today a record three in 10 Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Advantage health plans, mainly HMOs and PPOs, which are paid by the government to provide Medicare benefits to their enrollees. Given the projected rise in Medicare Advantage enrollment, an important question for both consumers and policymakers is how…

Visualizing Health Policy: The Role of Medicare Advantage

This Visualizing Health Policy infographic provides a snapshot of the role of Medicare Advantage plans, an alternative to traditional Medicare, including information about the proportion of Medicare beneficiaries who are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, geographic differences in Medicare Advantage penetration, the trend of increasing enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans,…

Health Affairs Article: At Least Half of New Medicare Advantage Enrollees Had Switched From Traditional Medicare During 2006-11

In an article in Health Affairs, researchers from the Kaiser Family Foundation counter the popular misperception that the steady rise in Medicare Advantage enrollment has been driven by members of the Baby Boom generation overwhelmingly choosing the private plans as they become eligible for Medicare. Their study examines the 2006-2011 growth in Medicare Advantage enrollment and finds that a majority of new enrollees in Medicare Advantage in each year were, in fact, seniors switching from traditional Medicare.

A Primer on Medicare: Key Facts About the Medicare Program and the People it Covers

This primer explains key elements of the Medicare program, which now provides health coverage to 55 million people — including 46 million people age 65 and older and another 9 million younger adults with permanent disabilities. It looks at the characteristics of the Medicare population, what benefits are covered, how much people with Medicare pay for their benefits and the program’s overall costs and future financing challenges.

Medicare Advantage 2016 Data Spotlight: Overview of Plan Changes

This issue brief analyzes the number and variety of Medicare Advantage plan choices available to beneficiaries in 2016. It describes trends in number of Medicare Advantage plans, plan premiums, and plan quality ratings, including changes in prescription drug coverage and limits on out-of-pocket expenses. This spotlight is part of a series of spotlights tracking key changes in the Medicare Advantage program.

Medicare Advantage Plan Switching: Exception or Norm?

The Medicare open enrollment period allows enrollees to compare plans, stick with their current plan, switch to another plan, or shift to traditional Medicare. This analysis examines the extent to which Medicare Advantage enrollees change plans when given the opportunity. It also analyzes the variation in the rate of plan switching by enrollee and plan characteristics and whether people who voluntarily switch plans tend to move to plans with lower premiums, lower out-of-pocket limits, or higher quality ratings.

Medicare Advantage 2016 Spotlight: Enrollment Market Update

This Data Spotlight reviews national and state-level enrollment trends as of March 2016 and examines variation in enrollment by plan type and firm. It analyzes the most recent data on premiums, out-of-pocket limits, Part D cost-sharing for drugs, and plans’ quality ratings for Medicare Advantage enrollees.

Medicare Part D in 2016 and Trends over Time

This chartpack presents a summary of Part D enrollment, premiums, cost sharing, benefit design and other key trends in 2016 and changes over time. For 2016, the analysis finds that 40% of Part D enrollees are now in Medicare Advantage drug plans, and over half of all enrollees are in plans offered by just three firms. The chartpack also highlights some concerning trends in the Low-Income Subsidy market, with the fewest number of premium-free plans available since Part D started, and 1.5 million LIS enrollees paying premiums for coverage, even though they have premium-free options available.

Medicare Advantage Hospital Networks: How Much Do They Vary?

This report takes an in-depth look at Medicare Advantage plans’ hospital networks. The analysis draws upon data from 409 Medicare Advantage plans serving beneficiaries in 20 diverse counties that together accounted for about one in seven (14%) Medicare Advantage enrollees nationwide in 2015. The report examines the size and composition of plans’ hospital networks, the variation across counties, the inclusion of Academic Medical Centers and NCI-Designated Cancer Centers, and the relationship between network size and other plan features, including premiums, quality star ratings, per capita Medicare spending, parent organization, and plan tax status.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.