Medicare, Medicare Advantage enrollees have comparable healthcare experiences
Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans is increasing rapidly, and many insurers are expanding their MA offerings in a bid to grab larger portions of the market share. Medicare Advantage touts itself as having certain advantages over traditional Medicare, such as fitness benefits, hearing aids and eyeglasses coverage, and limits on out-of-pocket spending.
This begs the question: Are enrollees in the two versions of Medicare fundamentally different, and what are their experiences like in terms of satisfaction?
As it turns out, new analysis from the Commonwealth Fund has found that Medicare Advantage enrollees do not differ significantly from beneficiaries in traditional Medicare in terms of their age, race, income, chronic conditions, satisfaction with care, or access to care, after excluding Special Needs Plan (SNP) enrollees.
Both groups reported waiting more than a month for physician office visits, while similar shares of Medicare Advantage and traditional Medicare enrollees report that their out-of-pocket costs make it difficult to obtain care.
Ultimately, MA and traditional Medicare are serving similar populations, with beneficiaries having comparable healthcare experiences. The care management services provided by Medicare Advantage plans appear to neither impede access to care nor reduce concerns about costs.
WHAT’S THE IMPACT Beneficiaries weigh a number of trade-offs when […]