Medicare+Choice in California: Lessons and Insights

Thirty-five percent of all California Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in a M+C plan, far in excess of the 14 percent rate nationwide. This report seeks to identify what lessons for the nation can be drawn from the California M+C experience, as Congress debates the implications of major withdrawals from the M+C program and potential policy changes aimed at reversing this trend. The report is based largely on analysis of M+C data on plan participation, withdrawals, and enrollment by county from year-end 1997 (when M+C was enacted) through 2001, including reported withdrawals in 2002.