The number of Medicare Advantage plans available in the United States increased by 13 percent over the prior year according to data reported by the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance.
There are now 3,500 Medicare Advantage (MA) plans nationally up 402 from 2020 according to the organization's latest analysis. The average individual on Medicare today has access to 33 different locally-available Medicare Advantage plans.
Medicare Advantage plans are growing in popularity with some 26.5 million Medicare beneficiaries now covered. AAMSI predicts an estimated 2 million new members will sign up for MA coverage this year alone.
Also known as Medicare Part C, Medicare Advantage is an all in one alternative to Original Medicare. These bundled plans include Medicare Parts A and B and often Prescription Drug Plan coverage (Medicare Part D). Increasingly, plans include additional benefits such as vision, hearing, dental and other benefits.
Enrollment in plans has grown rapidly over the past decade from nearly 12 million members in 2011. Nationally some 40% of all Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in an MA plan. However, the percentage can range by state. For example, Alaska and Wyoming report participation levels of 10% or less. States including California, Texas, Florida and New York report MA participation of 40% or more.
Florida Reports Most Medicare Advantage Plans
Florida reports the most Medicare Advantage plans with 527 an increase of 11% over 2020. California has 424 plans, up nearly 14% over the prior year. Texas reports 289 plans, an increase of 25%. According to the 2021 Medicare Advantage statistics, New York has 276 plans available.
Private insurance companies across the country sell the various Medicare Advantage plans. It is important to note that a company may sell different plan options that offer varying levels of coverage.
Medicare Advantage plans tend to be regional in nature. As a result, where you live and receive healthcare services matters. Each insurance company establishes agreements with providers and hospitals in a particular region. These approved healthcare providers become “in network” with that specific insurance company and their plan. Consequently plans in your specific area may differ from those available in different areas, even one nearby.
While plans are available in most states, a recent report found that no MA plans were available in some 77 different counties. Comparing options to get the best Medicare Advantage coverage can take a bit of effort. Today many consumers work through call centers that may represent a singular plan or offer a number of options.
Consulting with a local Medicare insurance advisor who offers both Medicare Advantage as well as Medicare Supplement insurance plans can be well worth your time. The plans can offer significantly different advantages and disadvantages that can range from options to costs. The American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance makes available a no-cost online directory where you can find agents located in your particular Zip Code. Access it at www.medicaresupp.org.
The American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance supports insurance professionals and organizes the national Medicare Insurance industry Summit. In addition, AAMSI hosts the national online directory giving consumers free access to find local Medicare insurance brokers and agents who can help consumers compare their various Medicare insurance plan options. For more information visit the organization’s website at www.medicaresupp.org.
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