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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Firm Perspectives on the Medicare Advantage Market

Based on interviews with senior executives at 14 large firms, the issue brief finds that insurers anticipate continuing to offer Medicare Advantage plans in 2012, in part because of a Medicare demonstration project that will award bonus payments to plans based on their quality standards. A companion issue brief examines…

The Growth of Private Plans in Medicare, 2006

, details the different types of private plan options available to people on Medicare. These include Medicare Advantage plans (such as Medicare HMOs, PPOs and private fee-for-service plans) and new stand-alone prescription drug plans.• In 2006, all Medicare beneficiaries have access to at least one type of private Medicare Advantage…

Examining Sources of Supplemental Insurance and Prescription Drug Coverage Among Medicare Beneficiaries: Findings from the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, 2007

This updated chartpack presents sources of supplemental and prescription drug coverage among Medicare beneficiaries in 2007, the most recent year for which national data are available. The chartpack looks at variations in supplemental and prescription drug coverage by income, race/ethnicity, age, urban/rural location, and health status. It also examines characteristics…

Medicare Advantage Chartpack

These charts highlight key data about the Medicare Advantage program, which has grown rapidly in terms of enrollment and number of plans since the enactment of the Medicare Modernization Act in 2003. The package includes a map showing Medicare Advantage penetration by state as well as key facts about private…

Explaining Health Reform: Medicare and the New Independent Payment Advisory Board

This brief describes how the new board created under the 2010 health reform law is expected to limit the growth in Medicare spending over time. Starting in 2014, if projected per capita Medicare spending exceeds targets set in the law, the board must recommend ways to reduce Medicare spending, while…

Issue Briefs Describe Changes in Private Plan Market and Effects on Medicare Beneficiaries

These two issue briefs describe the different types of private plan options available to people on Medicare, identify key characteristics of the organizations offering the new Medicare drug benefit, and analyze how companies are positioning themselves to attract Medicare enrollees.The Growth of Private Plans in Medicare, 2006The Landscape of Private…

Medicare and the President’s Fiscal Year 2009 Budget Proposal

Medicare and the President’s Fiscal Year 2009 Budget ProposalThis fact sheet summarizes key Medicare-related provisions in the Bush Administration’s fiscal year 2009 budget proposal, as well as additional legislation that responds to the Medicare Trustees’ “Medicare Funding Warning.” Fact Sheet (.pdf)