On Medicare Advantage Plans (Private Medicare)

PART C

By John Kelly

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Medicare Advantage Plans (Private Medicare) are sold on a county-by-county basis. Attached is the market penetration of MA (compared to traditional FFS Medicare) for every county in the USA.

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Wonder why Medicare Advantage Premiums are going down (on average)? Because premiums are one of the measures by which the elderly decide what to purchase. Even though premiums are declining, not all MA plans are ‘cheaper’ than traditional FFS Medicare. Caveat Emptor.

It is also interesting to note that 3 carriers – Humana, UHC and BCBS Affiliates — cover 60% of all MA plan subscribers and use national networks of providers to offer broad service availability (compared to smaller plans, PSP’s and other narrow network options).

Medicare premiums per beneficiary typically exceed $10,000 per year. With effective ingenious use of benefit design, prior authorization, incentives, PBM contract rebates, etc., — there is a lot of money to be made in Medicare Advantage plans — accounting for the rapid growth in these plans over the last decade.

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