Having medical insurance is essential. It will help you avoid high out-of-pocket costs for doctor visits, check ups, and medication, but also any hospital and/or medical treatments. Medicare plans are what most Americans have and Medicare Advantage is one of the most popular plans in the mix.
In 2023, Medicare advantage plans are seeing strong demand and much higher enrollment, compared to the previous years. Furthermore, this plan is characterized by low healthcare spending, Better Medicare Alliance claims in their 2023 State of Medicare Advantage report.
“With a 94% beneficiary satisfaction rate, annual consumer savings of nearly $2,000 per year, better health outcomes, and lower per-beneficiary government spending, Medicare Advantage has proven its value to seniors and the health care system alike,” Mary Beth Donahue, president and chief executive officer of the Better Medicare Alliance said in the press release.
“More than just facts and figures on a page, this report is a testament to what policymakers and advocates can do when they put beneficiaries first – and what can still be achieved by protecting and strengthening this well-working health care success story.”
This report covers everything that is important about any Medicare plan:
The popularity of the Medicare Advantage has increased significantly which means that the demographic of the plan enrollees has changed. However, as expected, Medicare Advantage beneficiaries are mostly seniors, accumulating for 46.2 percent in 2023. There is a 3.1% increase compared to last year.
The diversity of this plan is the highest compared to all other Medicare plans such as Original Medicare. A little more than a third of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries identify as a part of a racial and ethnic minority. The percentage for racial and ethnic minorities for Original Medicare is approximately 15%.
The report came up with some other useful statistics. For example, 99.7% of Medicare users have at least one Medicare Advantage plan. Still, the original Medicare has 10% more enrollees than the Medicare Advantage, a trend that is likely to change by 2030.
What’s also interesting to note is that 8 million individuals got enrolled due to disability while all the others entered because of their age.
The report also showcases the statistics of beneficiaries based on their location. The top six states of Medicare Advantage Enrollees include:
- Alabama – 53.35%
- Michigan – 53.05%
- Florida – 52.75%
- Connecticut – 51.06%
- Main – 50.95%
- Oregon – 50.95%
Local preferred provider organizations account for 36 percent of the Medicare Advantage enrollment whereas 60 percent goes to health maintenance organizations. One of the major increases in enrollment this year was the special needs plan that contribute to almost a third of the market growth in 2023.
When it comes to monthly installments and out-of-pocket costs, Medicare Advantage is one of the most attractive plans for enrollees. With the average monthly premium of just $19, this plan is among the most affordable. Premiums have been the lowest in the last decade. Furthermore, Medicare Advantage beneficiaries spend approximately $2,000 less for out-of-pocket costs.
Since there are a variety of Medicare Advantage plans, there are exceptions. Nearly two-third of all the users are enrolled in a $0 Premium MA-PD Plan which significantly lowers the monthly premium on average and the statistic should be taken into consideration carefully.
If you or a loved one is an eligible Medicare recipient, you can easily compare the best Medicare Advantage Plans for your needs at MedicareConsumer today.
Meanwhile, Better Medicare Alliance (BMA) has high hopes for the Medicare Advantage Plan. It will continue to be one of the most popular options and it is expected to receive more beneficiaries and eventually overcome Original Medicare base.
“This report affirms what we already know: Medicare Advantage is working to deliver better outcomes and added benefits at a lower cost for an increasingly diverse beneficiary population. In these pages, readers will see why Included Health looks to Medicare Advantage plans as trusted partners to deliver the personalized, high-touch, high-tech care our members need and deserve,” added Todd Thames, MD, vice president of medical affairs for Included Health.
Although Medicare Advantage has lower premiums and saves you a lot of money, great coverage and the tendency to grow and improve, there is some skepticism about providing necessary care for all the patients. It appears that some providers have found a way to game the system.
Therefore, House lawmakers have requested more oversight of Medicare Advantage plans.
“I am deeply concerned with recent reports that seniors in private sector Medicare Advantage plans are facing unwarranted barriers to accessing timely, medically necessary care,” Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) said during a hearing last month. “Several studies have raised concerns that insurance companies are denying beneficiaries’ access to treatment and imposing burdensome requirements that delay care. Improper claim denials and increased use of prior authorizations are preventing beneficiaries from receiving the care they need.”
One of the bodies responsible to make sure everything is alright with providing care is CMS. However, it appears that they are understaffed and unable to cover the entire field.
“It’s a shame CMS did not agree to testify at this hearing to speak to the work the agency is doing to improve this program,” said Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Virginia, ranking member of the subcommittee. “As Medicare Advantage takes on an even larger presence in the Medicare program and as the Medicare hospital insurance trust fund is projected to be insolvent by 2028 it will continue to be important to assess how well Medicare’s current payment methodology for MA is working.”
Despite the shortcomings, the Medicare Advantage is still the best choice:
“The comprehensive, coordinated care delivered in Medicare Advantage and better health outcomes leads to high satisfaction among beneficiaries,” the group’s report said.