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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.

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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.

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How Many Physicians Have Opted-Out of the Medicare Program?

This analysis examines the extent to which non-pediatric physicians have opted out of the Medicare program. The analysis finds that few physicians have opted out of Medicare, with the share of opt-out physicians varying by specialty.

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Public Opinion on Prescription Drugs and Their Prices

This charticle draws on recent KFF poll findings to provide an in-depth look at the public’s attitudes toward prescription drugs and their prices. Results include Americans’ opinions on drug affordability, pharmaceutical companies, and various potential measures that could lower prices.

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Explaining the Prescription Drug Provisions in the Build Back Better Act

The Build Back Better Act includes several provisions that would lower prescription drug costs for people with Medicare and private insurance and reduce drug spending by the federal government and private payers. This brief summarizes these provisions and discusses the expected effects on people, program spending, and drug prices and innovation.

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The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

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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.