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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What Percent of New Medicare Beneficiaries Are Enrolling in Medicare Advantage?

The analysis examines enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans during beneficiaries’ first year on Medicare and finds that less than one-third or 29% enrolled in these private health plans, including HMOs or PPOs. The majority of people new to Medicare are choosing traditional Medicare in the year they first go on Medicare. The study looks at how these findings vary across age, Medicaid status, states, and counties.

Medicare Advantage 2010 Data Spotlight: Benefits and Cost-Sharing

This data spotlight examines trends in benefits and cost-sharing for Medicare Advantage plans in 2010, including the wide variations found across plans and the rapid increase in cost sharing requirements for some benefits, including stays in skilled nursing facilities. It also examines the annual limits on out-of-pocket spending set by…

A Primer on Medicare Financing

As Congress and the Administration increasingly focus on the nation’s budget deficit, many policy experts and several bipartisan deficit reduction panels have proposed significant changes to Medicare to reduce federal spending and address rising health care costs. This primer provides an overview of Medicare spending trends, how the program is…

Medicare Consumer-Directed Health Plan: Medicare MSAs and HSA-like Plans in 2007

Medicare Consumer-Directed Health Plan: Medicare MSAs and HSA-like Plans in 2007This March 2007 issue brief, commissioned by the Kaiser Family Foundation, examines the development of consumer-directed health plans in the Medicare program. Medicare Medical Savings Account plans have high deductibles accompanied by a personal savings account that can be used…

Explaining Health Reform: Key Changes in the Medicare Advantage Program

This brief examines the changes in the 2010 health reform law affecting the Medicare Advantage program, which gives beneficiaries the option of enrolling in private insurance plans for their Medicare benefits, instead of the traditional fee-for-service program. The reform law will gradually reduce Medicare payments to these plans to bring…

What’s in the Stars? Quality Ratings of Medicare Advantage Plans, 2010

NEW: Foundation brief looks at implications of 2011 quality ratings for Medicare Advantage plans. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rates the relative quality of the private plans that are offered to Medicare beneficiaries through the Medicare Advantage program as a way of aiding beneficiaries who are considering…

Medicare Advantage 2010 Data Spotlight: Plan Enrollment Patterns and Trends

This data spotlight examines at enrollment trends in Medicare Advantage plans, including Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) and Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plans. These plans are paid by the government to provide Medicare-covered benefits to those who choose to enroll in them.As of March 2010, a record 11.1…

Profile and Analysis of the 26 Medicare Advantage Regions

This issue brief examines the 26 new Medicare Advantage PPO regions and their implications for beneficiaries. The paper describes the characteristics of the new Medicare Advantage regions and the extent to which Medicare Advantage plans are already available in each region. It highlights the substantial gap between the current availability…