Medicare Advantage Enrollment Rises

As we noted in a previous article, enrollment in private Medicare Advantage programs has been not only increasing, but hitting records, according to a recent Hill article by by Elise Viebeck:  “Enrollment in Medicare Advantage is at an all-time high, according to figures reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF)…The group’s analysis found that 14.4 million seniors are currently enrolled in a private Medicare plan, up nearly 10 percent from last year and 30 percent since 2010.  The numbers challenge predictions that Medicare Advantage would suffer under cuts enacted by the Affordable Care Act. The law cut reimbursements to Medicare Advantage in order to bring the plans’ costs in line with traditional or fee-for-service Medicare. They were fiercely opposed by the insurance industry, which successfully fought off another proposed cut this spring.”

“”Over the next few years, it is possible there will be some shakeout in the market as payment reductions are implemented and benchmarks move closer to spending for traditional Medicare,” researchers wrote. “Ultimately, to remain viable, some plans either will have to become more efficient or modify the extra benefits they provide to their enrollees.”

The KFF site also states that: “While about 28 percent of Medicare beneficiaries nationally are now enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, the share varies greatly by state — ranging from 49 percent in Minnesota to less than 1 percent and 3 percent in Alaska and Wyoming, respectively.”

So, while these increases are more positive than previously expected, the future outlook is still murky.  While we wish we had a crystal ball to share with you, alas, we do not.  However, we do know that many of our readers are also quite informed and opinionated on this hot topic so please do share what this increase mean to you in the comments section below, or on our facebook page.

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