2024 MA Landscape: MAOs Pursue ‘Softer’ Expansions, Higher Premiums Over Benefit Cuts

Trends emerging from early analyses of CMS’s 2024 Medicare Advantage and Part D “landscape files” include a lower concentration of $0 premium plans, increases in monthly premiums by some of the biggest insurers, and less aggressive but continued expansions into new service areas. But industry observers caution against reading too much into the data, given the nuances of benefit design that are not detectable from the landscape files. That said, it’s clear the major publicly traded insurers made a few tradeoffs in order to maintain benefit stability and remain competitive amid financial headwinds.

Insurers reporting second-quarter 2023 earnings earlier this year said they factored the emerging trend of increasing utilization into MA bids that were due in June. Also impacting pricing for next year’s offerings is the phasing in of substantial revisions to the CMS-Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCC) risk adjustment model that could reduce payments depending on plan type and coding practices, along with certain Part D changes resulting from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that increase the cost burden for plans in the catastrophic phase of the benefit.

© 2024 MMIT
Lauren Flynn Kelly

Lauren Flynn Kelly Managing Editor, Radar on Medicare Advantage

Lauren has been covering health business issues since the early 2000s and specializes in in-depth reporting on Medicare Advantage, managed Medicaid and Medicare Part D. She also possesses a deep understanding of the complex world of pharmacy benefit management, having written AIS Health’s Radar on Drug Benefits from 2004 to 2005 and again from 2011 to 2016. In addition to her role as managing editor of Radar on Medicare Advantage, she oversees AIS Health’s publications and manages the health editorial staff. She graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. in English.

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