Despite the fears of consumer advocates and the predictions of many insurance companies, seniors are flocking to Medicare Advantage managedcare plans. It shouldn’t be a surprise since premiums for these policies are a fraction of the cost of traditional fee-for-service Medicare.
This shift may be one driver of the recent slowdown in the growth of health care costs and it may open the door to even bigger changes in the way both medical and long-term supports and services are eventually delivered.
According to a new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Mathematica Policy Research, nearly 15 million people, or about 29 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries, have enrolled in Medicare Advantage (also known as MA or Medicare Part C plans). That’s a huge increase from the 16 percent who were enrolled in 2007 and the 21 percent in 2010. And it represents a remarkable transformation in Medicare from a fee-for-service system to one where a significant share of beneficiaries gets health care from a managed care system.