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Black Medicare Beneficiaries Are More Likely Than White Beneficiaries to Have Cost-Related Problems with Their Health Care, Across both Traditional Medicare and in Medicare Advantage Plans

Among people with Medicare, Black beneficiaries are more likely to have cost-related problems with their health care than White beneficiaries, finds a new KFF analysis, with the racial disparity persisting among beneficiaries in both traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans. While 17 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries, or about 1…

Cost-Related Problems Are Less Common Among Beneficiaries in Traditional Medicare Than in Medicare Advantage, Mainly Due to Supplemental Coverage

This analysis examines health care cost-related problems among Medicare beneficiaries, comparing beneficiaries in traditional Medicare, including those with and without supplemental coverage, to those in Medicare Advantage, with a focus on racial equity. We compare rates of cost-related problems among White, Black, and Hispanic beneficiaries, those in fair or poor health, and those under age 65 with long-term disabilities. The measure of cost-related problems include problems getting care due to cost, delays seeking care due to cost, and problems paying medical bills among people with Medicare.

Although Their Share of the Market Varies By State, Enrollment in Medicare Advantage Plans Has More Than Doubled Over the Past Decade, with More than 4 in 10 Medicare Beneficiaries Now Enrolled in the Private Plans

The private plans known as Medicare Advantage now cover more than 4 in 10 Medicare beneficiaries, reflecting a more than doubling of enrollment over the past decade even as the plans remain a far larger presence in some states than others, according to a new KFF analysis. More than 26…

Medicare Advantage in 2021: Enrollment Update and Key Trends

Medicare Advantage enrollment has steadily increased both nationally and within most states since 2005, with more than 40 percent of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans in 2021. The share of Medicare Advantage enrollees varies across the country: in 26 states and Puerto Rico, at least 40 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans in 2021, and at least 50 percent in Florida, Minnesota and Puerto Rico. In a growing number of counties, more than half of all Medicare beneficiaries are in a Medicare Advantage plan, in lieu of traditional Medicare. Enrollment continues to be highly concentrated among a handful of firms, both nationally and in local markets, with UnitedHealthcare and Humana together accounting for 45 percent of enrollment in 2021.

Medicare Advantage in 2021: Premiums, Cost Sharing, Out-of-Pocket Limits and Supplemental Benefits

In 2021, nearly two-thirds of Medicare Advantage enrollees are in plans that do not charge a premium (other than the Part B premium), although the remaining third do pay a premium, averaging about $60 per month. Most enrollees are in plans that provide access to a variety of supplemental benefits, such as eye exams, dental and fitness benefits. Nearly all enrollees are in plans that require prior authorization for some services. Medicare Advantage cost sharing varies across plans and can be lower than traditional Medicare, but that is not always the case. Slightly more than half of all Medicare Advantage enrollees would incur higher costs than beneficiaries in traditional Medicare with no supplemental coverage for a 6-day hospital stay, though cost are generally lower in Medicare Advantage for shorter stays.

Medicare Advantage in 2021: Star Ratings and Bonuses

In 2021, 81 percent of all Medicare Advantage enrollees are in plans that receive a bonus payment from Medicare based on star quality ratings (or because they are new), substantially higher than the share in 2015 (55 percent). Annual bonus payments from the federal government to Medicare Advantage insurers have increased correspondingly, quadrupling from $3 billion in 2015 to $11.6 billion in 2021.

Key Facts About Medicare Part D Enrollment, Premiums, and Cost Sharing in 2021

The Medicare Part D program provides an outpatient prescription drug benefit to older adults and people with long-term disabilities in Medicare who enroll in private plans, including stand-alone drug plans and Medicare Advantage drug plans. This analysis provides the latest data about Part D enrollment, premiums, and cost sharing in 2021 and trends over time.

Health Insurer Financial Performance in 2020

This analysis examines insurers’ financial data across markets through the end of 2020. It finds that average margins remained relatively high compared to recent years, suggesting many insurers remained profitable even as health spending rebounded and COVID-19 cases surged in the fall and winter.

A Snapshot of Sources of Coverage Among Medicare Beneficiaries in 2018

Using the most current data available, this analysis describes current sources of coverage among Medicare beneficiaries in 2018, including sources of supplemental coverage among traditional Medicare beneficiaries (Medicaid, employer-sponsored retiree health benefits, and Medigap) and enrollment in private Medicare Advantage plans.

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