Medicare Advantage Plans Are a Vital Source of Coverage for Low-Income and Minority Beneficiaries

Medicare Advantage Plans Are a Vital Source of Coverage for Low-Income and Minority Beneficiaries

Medicare Advantage is the part of Medicare through which private health plans provide comprehensive medical coverage to seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries.  Almost 12 million Americans, or roughly 25 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries, have chosen to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan because of the better services, higher-quality care and additional benefits these plans provide.

New data from the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) show that Medicare Advantage plans were a vital source of coverage for low-income and minority beneficiaries in 2010.  Here are some key findings:

  • Nationwide, 26 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans. Twenty-nine (29) percent of African-American Medicare beneficiaries and 36 percent of Hispanic beneficiaries were enrolled in Medicare Advantage Plans.
  • Forty-three (43) percent of Medicare beneficiaries with Medicare Advantage plans had incomes below $20,000.  By comparison, 39 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries had incomes below $20,000.
  • Sixty-four (64) percent of all minority (Nonwhite) beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage in 2010 had incomes below $20,000; 64 percent of African-American and 82 percent of Hispanic Medicare Advantage beneficiaries had incomes below $20,000.  By comparison, 39 percent of White Medicare Advantage enrollees had incomes below $20,000.

Access the full report: Low-Income & Minority Beneficiaries in Medicare Advantage Plans, 2010.  For more information on Medicare Advantage coverage, visit AHIP’s Coverage Blog: http://www.ahipcoverage.com/tag/ma/.

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