New Rural Health Brief: Medicare Advantage Enrollment Update 2019

Medicare Advantage Enrollment Update 2019

Abdinasir K. Ali, MPH; Fred Ullrich, BA; and Keith Mueller, PhD

 The 2019 edition of the RUPRI Center’s annual report on Medicare Advantage (MA) enrollment shows that as of March 2019, 35.0 percent of eligible Medicare beneficiaries were in an MA plan. The proportion of metropolitan enrollment (37.0 percent) is higher than that in nonmetropolitan counties (25.6 percent) but the rate of growth in enrollment has been higher in nonmetropolitan counties for the past two years.

Although well over half of metropolitan MA enrollment has been in HMO plans over the past 10 years (65.0 percent in 2019), since 2012 the plurality of nonmetropolitan MA enrollment has been in local PPO plans. However, nonmetropolitan enrollment in both HMO plans and local PPOs has grown consistently since 2009 (2019 enrollment: 32.7 percent and 45.2 percent, respectively). Growth in these two plan types has come largely at the expense of nonmetropolitan PFFS plans which accounted for 54.5 percent of nonmetropolitan MA enrollment in 2009, but only 2.0 percent by 2019.

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