Many plans offer benefits not available under traditional Medicare, but nearly all require prior authorizations for some drugs and services
Medicare Advantage (MA) will soon overtake traditional Medicare as the way most eligible beneficiaries obtain coverage, according to a new analysis of Medicare enrollment.
The analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that MA enrollment could surpass 50% in 2023. Current MA enrollment is about 48% of the eligible Medicare population of 58.6 million, up from 46% in 2021. It cites data from the Congressional Budget Office forecasting that MA plans will cover 61% of eligible enrollees by 2032.
The three-part study found that 70% of MA enrollees pay no premium beyond part B for prescription drug coverage. In addition, nearly all those who get coverage through plans open to general enrollment have access to some benefits, such as eye and hearing exams and glasses and hearing aids that aren’t covered under traditional Medicare.
On the other hand, 99% of MA enrollees are in plans that require prior authorizations for some services, including physician-administered prescription drugs, and inpatient hospital and skilled nursing stays.
Among the study’s other findings: