New Medicare Advantage Entrants Increase Consumer Options

AJMC Staff

Although a new report from The Commonwealth Fund raised concerns about the competition of Medicare Advantage (MA) programs available across the country, a new analysis from Avalere Health found that there has been a growing number of MA plan options for consumers.
Between 2012 and 2015, 28 organizations entered the MA market and currently offer plans to beneficiaries, with a total of 104 new plan options available in 24 states.
“As the baby boomers become Medicare-eligible, organizations across the healthcare landscape are stepping up to compete,” Dan Mendelson, CEO at Avalere, said in a statement. “In particular, health systems are playing an even larger role in the Medicare Advantage program, further blurring the lines between providers and payers.” 
These new entrants to the market include established commercial plans, major health systems, and provider groups that have become health plans. Provider-owned plans represent more than half (54%) of the new MA entrants.
“In addition to Medicare Advantage, providers are becoming payers to compete on exchanges and serve employers,” said Elizabeth Carpenter, vice president at Avalere. “When combined with new start-ups and other options created by the Affordable Care Act, the insurance market looks increasingly diverse.”

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