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Medicare Advantage Plans See Enrollment Boosts During Pandemic

Survey data collected by MedicareAdvantagePlans.org shows that Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are seeing increased enrollment amid the pandemic.

The online survey was completed by 700 adult Americans who were eligible for Medicare in 2021 and decided to enroll in an MA plan instead.

Many beneficiaries cite the plans’ cost effectiveness, flexibility, and prescription coverage under Part D as the top incentives for changing plans, only after those who were already enrolled in MA plans.

“Out of 67.7 million Medicare beneficiaries in the United States in 2020, roughly 24 million (36%) are enrolled in an MA plan, which represented a 9% year-over-year increase,” explained the authors.

MA, also referred to as Part C, has grown in popularity over the last several years and authors note that their survey data reflects that trend. With COVID-19 continuing to disrupt the health care system, data shows that many turn to MA plans due to its supplemental benefit offerings.

“Supplemental benefits have become such an important selling point for Medicare Advantage plans that there will be a 64% year-over-year increase in the number of Medicare Advantage  plans that are offering such benefits in 2021,” explained the authors.

Because of the pandemic, 34% of MA plans are now offering COVID-19-related supplemental benefits for 2021, including coverage of testing, PPE, and care packages. 

“By 2030, the Congressional Budget Office projects that 51% of all Medicare beneficiaries will be enrolled in a MA plan,” concluded the authors. —Edan Stanley

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