Since the 1970s, Medicare beneficiaries have had the option to receive their Medicare benefits through private health plans, mainly Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), as an alternative to the federally administered traditional Medicare program. The Balanced Budget Act (BBA) of 1997 named Medicare’s managed care program “Medicare+Choice” and the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) of 2003 renamed it “Medicare Advantage.”  In 2019, the majority of the 64 million people on Medicare are covered by traditional Medicare, but one-third (34%) are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans. Over the past decade, the number of beneficiaries enrolled in private plans has nearly doubled from 11.1 million in 2010 to 22.0 million in 2019.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

A Small Share of People with Medicare Advantage or Stand-alone Medicare Part D Coverage Voluntarily Switch Plans During Open Enrollment 

A new KFF analysis finds that a relatively small share of people with Medicare Advantage or stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage voluntarily switch plans during Medicare’s open enrollment period, which runs annually from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. With less than a week remaining for beneficiaries to make…

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No Itch to Switch: Few Medicare Beneficiaries Switch Plans During the Open Enrollment Period

This analysis finds that a relatively small share of people with Medicare Advantage or stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage voluntarily switch plans during Medicare’s open enrollment period, which runs annually from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. Shopping around among plans is important, since plans can vary significantly and change from year to year, which can have a large impact on enrollees’ coverage and costs.

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Analysis Finds Record 3,148 Medicare Advantage Plans Will be Available in 2020

A record 3,148 Medicare Advantage plans will be available across the country as alternatives to traditional Medicare, a new KFF analysis finds. That’s up 15% from last year’s 2,734 plans and results in a typical beneficiary having 28 plans available to them in their local market for the 2020 Medicare…

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Medicare Advantage 2020 Spotlight: First Look

In 2020, more than 22 million Medicare beneficiaries (34%) are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, which are mainly HMOs and PPOs offered by private insurers as an alternative to the traditional Medicare program. This data note provides an overview of the Medicare Advantage plans that will be available in 2020, including the variation in the number of plans available by county and plan type. The brief also examines the insurers entering the Medicare Advantage market for the first time and also examines the insurers exiting the market.

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Medicare Open Enrollment FAQs

This list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Medicare Open Enrollment covers a range of topics related to Medicare enrollment, Medicare Advantage, Part D, Medigap, employer/retiree coverage, Medicaid and other low-income assistance, Medicare and the Marketplaces, and more.

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Brief Examines Five Potential Ways to Improve Dental Coverage for People on Medicare

Medicare does not cover routine dental care, and two-thirds of the Medicare population have no dental coverage at all. With limited or no dental coverage, some incur high out-of-pocket costs, while others forgo need dental care because they can’t afford it. Policymakers in Washington and others are exploring ways to…

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Policy Options for Improving Dental Coverage for People on Medicare

Medicare does not cover routine dental care and the majority of Medicare beneficiaries do not have dental coverage. This brief examines five potential ways to make oral health care more available and affordable for the Medicare population. This brief reviews the limits of dental coverage permitted under current Medicare law, then describes each of the policy options, with an analysis of likely implications for key stakeholders, including Medicare beneficiaries, taxpayers, insurers, and dental professionals

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The Facts on Medicare Spending and Financing

This issue brief examines the latest facts about Medicare spending and financing, including the most recent historical and projected Medicare spending data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Office of the Actuary, the 2019 annual report of the Boards of Medicare Trustees, and the 2019 Medicare baseline and projections from the Congressional Budget Office. It discusses historical and projected spending trends, program financing, Medicare’s financial condition, and the future outlook.

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As Policymakers Debate Medicare-for-All, Analysis Finds the Medicare Advantage, Individual and Group Health Insurance Markets Appear to Be Profitable, Especially Medicare Advantage

Three key private health insurance markets — Medicare Advantage, the individual market and the fully-insured group market — appear to be financially healthy and attractive to insurers, according to a new KFF analysis. The private Medicare Advantage market generates significantly larger gross margins per person than the individual market or…

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Financial Performance of Medicare Advantage, Individual, and Group Health Insurance Markets

Three key private health insurance markets — Medicare Advantage, the individual market and the fully-insured group market — appear to be financially healthy and attractive to insurers. The private Medicare Advantage market generates significantly larger gross margins per person than the individual market or fully-insured market. The future of these markets has become a focus for policymakers amid the debate over Medicare for All.

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