Switchers Are Driving Medicare Advantage Growth, Suggests New Study

Beneficiary switching from fee-for-service (FFS) Medicare to Medicare Advantage more than tripled between 2006 and 2022, contributing to the MA enrollment boom that’s taken shape over the past two decades, according to a study published this month in Health Affairs. MA enrollment has been “accelerating” since 2019, researchers said, and switchers from FFS to MA were the biggest driving force behind this trend.

The study authors broke down beneficiaries from CMS’s enrollment database into five categories: stayers, switchers to MA, switchers to FFS, beneficiaries who newly gained eligibility, and beneficiaries who lost eligibility (largely those who died during the year). While new enrollments among those who had recently turned 65 also contributed to MA enrollment growth, it was at a smaller scale than growth caused by switching activity among existing beneficiaries, researchers observed.

© 2024 MMIT
Carina Belles

Carina Belles

Carina has been covering public-sector health care since 2018. As a data reporter for Radar on Medicare Advantage, she creates infographics and data stories on issues impacting Medicare, Medicaid and Part D. She also develops AIS Health Daily, a free daily newsletter that showcases AIS’s strong reporting across our four publications and parent company Norstella’s suite of market access and data solutions. Prior to joining the editorial team, she managed Medicare and Medicaid data for the Directory of Health Plans, AIS’s industry-standard health coverage database. She graduated from Ohio University with a B.S. in Journalism.

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