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Medicare Advantage Maintains Upward Trend in Year-Over-Year Analysis

 

January 22, 2024

The Medicare Open Enrollment Period, known as the “Medicare Advantage (MA) and Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) annual election period,” “annual enrollment period,” or “AEP,” runs each year from October 15th through December 7th. Early results show steady year-over-year increases from January 2020 to January 2024 for MA enrollment, while prescription drug plan (PDP) enrollment slightly recovered following several years of downward trends. Aggregate MA enrollment is nearly 33.5 million, and stand-alone PDP enrollment is 23 million. While January data does not reflect the full AEP results, current enrollment is based on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS’s) January 1, 2024 payment, which reflects January enrollments accepted through December 8, 2023. Many companies conduct their post-enrollment competitive assessments by using tools such as Mark Farrah Associates’ (MFA’s) Medicare Business Online™ and Health Coverage Portal™. The graph below illustrates MA and PDP performance from January 2020 to January 2024, as compared to Medicare Eligibles.

 

 

  • Overall Medicare Eligibles increased from 65.1 million in January of 2023 to 66.4 million in January 2024, up 2.1% from last year; it has grown by over 5 million (8.2%) since January 2020.
     
  • As of January 1, 2024, total MA membership stood at 33,473,602, a year-over-year growth of nearly 2.7 million members. This current total represents a cumulative 37.5% increase since January 1, 2020, or about 9.1 million additional covered lives.
     
  • Medicare PDPs accounted for 23,026,206 enrollees, as of January 1, 2024, representing a net loss of 2.2 million (-8.7%) from January 1, 2020, just prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Although PDP enrollment has trended downward since 2019, these early results show a slight recovery for PDP with a year-over-year increase of over 357,000. This is likely due to a new federal employee plan with the BlueCross BlueShield Association, where 857,000 enrollees were automatically enrolled in PDP plans; without this new enrollment, PDP totals would have continued to decline.
     

About this Data

This brief is based on an analysis of early enrollment data for Medicare Advantage (MA) and prescription drug plans (PDPs) released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Totals reflect enrollment as of the January 1, 2024 payment. The payment reflects January enrollments accepted through December 8, 2023. In addition to the AEP mentioned above, there is a second Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment period from January 1 through March 31, when MA enrollees can switch to another MA plan or drop their MA plan and return to Original Medicare. Full results of the annual election periods will be available in the April/May time frame. Mark Farrah Associates’ Medicare Business Online™ simplifies the tracking of monthly Medicare Advantage and PDP enrollment by competitor. Enrollment data is updated monthly as soon as CMS releases new data. Additionally, using MFA’s Medicare Benefits Analyzer (MBA), health companies are comparing and analyzing 2024 benefit packages and developing strategies to offer 2025 products that will attract and benefit seniors while ensuring the company is not adversely selected.

About Mark Farrah Associates (MFA)

Mark Farrah Associates (MFA) is a leading data aggregator and publisher providing health plan market data and analysis tools for the healthcare industry. Our product portfolio includes Health Coverage Portal™, County Health Coverage™, Medicare Business Online™, Medicare Benefits Analyzer™, 5500 Employer Health PLUS, and Health Plans USA™. For more information about these products, refer to the informational videos and brochures, available under the Our Products section of the website (www.markfarrah.com) or call 724-338-4100.

Healthcare Business Strategy is a FREE brief that presents analysis of important issues and developments affecting healthcare business today. If you would like to be added to our email distribution list, please submit your email address to the " Subscribe to MFA Briefs " section at the bottom of this page. Mark Farrah Associates will continue to analyze and report on important health insurance segment performance and related topics. Stay tuned for future analysis briefs with valuable insights about the health care industry.

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