MCMURRAY, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Medicare Advantage (MA) membership continued to climb, adding nearly 1.4 million more beneficiaries, year-over-year. Mark Farrah Associates (MFA), www.markfarrah.com, reported in its latest analysis brief that Medicare Advantage membership was over 19.5 million as of February 1, 2017, compared to 18.2 million a year ago. Managed Medicare continues to be an attractive growth market for health insurance companies as only 34% of the 58 million people eligible for Medicare across the United States and U.S. territories are enrolled in MA plans.
According to CMS Medicare Advantage enrollment reports aggregated by MFA in Medicare Business Online™, total Medicare Advantage (MA) plan enrollment as of February 1, 2017 increased 7.6% from February of 2016. The top ten carriers covered 68% of all Medicare Advantage enrollees. UnitedHealth maintained its leading position as the top Medicare Advantage organization in the country, with over 4.6 million enrolled, and commanding a 23.7% market share. Humana ranked second with 3.3 million lives and 16.9% market share. Aetna and Kaiser Foundation Group followed with over 1.46 million and 1.42 million lives, respectively.
Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans is primarily through direct purchase by individuals or through an employer/group retiree plan. MFA reported that 81% (approximately 15.7 million) of MA membership was individual while only 19%, or 3.65 million, of total MA enrollees were enrolled in employer group health plans (EGHP’s). However, group membership grew 16.2%, adding 508,000 more beneficiaries, year-over-year, and continues to be to be a viable opportunity for health plans.
As of February 2017, 61% of all members were enrolled in an HMO plan as this plan type continues to predominate Medicare Advantage coverage. PPOs, including local and regional plans, covered 32% of MA enrollees. Medicare-Medicaid HMO plans, or dual eligible programs, enrolled more than 391,000 members in February of 2017, up from 371,000 in February 2016.
Medicare Advantage plans rely on February and March enrollment reports to evaluate their standing and assess which competitors gained and lost members during the last Annual Election Period, (AEP), which occurs each year between October 15th and December 7th. In addition, February 2017 membership figures reflect business accepted and booked through January 6th, therefore, there may likely be competitive shifts in enrollment and market observations through March. Many companies conduct their post-AEP competitive assessments by using tools such as Mark Farrah Associates’ (MFA) Medicare Business Online™ and Health Coverage Portal™.
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About Mark Farrah Associates (MFA)
MFA is a leading data aggregator and publisher providing health plan market data and analysis tools for the healthcare industry. Committed to simplifying analysis of health insurance business, our products include Medicare Business Online™, Medicare Benefits Analyzer™, Health Coverage Portal™, County Health Coverage™, and Health Plans USA™.