Now that Medicare Advantage (MA) annual enrollment is behind us, we have our first glimpse at the 2024 MA program. We see MA is here to stay but the numbers have reached a level where the program can no longer be ignored by policymakers. Here are some quick stats about MA in 2024:
32.8 million Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in MA as of the January report of MA State/County Penetration. This is an increase from 30.9 million enrolled in MA in 2023 and continues the recent trend of roughly two million more lives enrolling in MA plans each year.
There are 5,786 MA plans being offered in 2024 and the average beneficiary has access to 43 plans, many of which are $0 premium plans. While the majority of these plans are HMOs (56%) in structure (which typically means a more limited network), the percentage that are PPOs has been increasing. PPOs allow beneficiaries to select care from in-network and out-of-network providers though their out of pocket costs are higher outside the network.
2,334 of the MA plans offer non-medical supplemental benefits in 2024, which is a slight increase over 2023 (2,268 plans) and might indicate a slowing of enthusiasm by plans.
In-home services continue to lead the list of these primarily health-related benefits offered by 867 MA plans in 2024 but this represents a significant decline from the 1,308 plans offering this benefit the year prior.
The food and produce benefit tops the list of Special Supplemental Benefits for the Chronically Ill offered by 1,475 plans and “general supports for living” comes in second, available through 996 plans. Overall, it only matters if these benefits are available in your geography. The ATI Advisory report cited below has more detail on where supplemental benefits are being offered.