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Switching between Medicare Advantage and traditional Medicare – how common?

Gretchen A. Jacobson and Patricia Neuman at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and independent consultant Anthony Damico examined whether the 2006-11 growth in private plans was primarily a result of new beneficiaries choosing from the onset of their eligibility or because beneficiaries enrolled in were making a switch.

They found that most new Medicare Advantage enrollees each year were people who switched from traditional Medicare. In 2011, 78 percent of newly eligible beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare while less than one-quarter (22 percent) chose Medicare Advantage from the onset. That was up from 2006, when 15 percent of newly eligible beneficiaries enrolled directly in Medicare Advantage. Nonetheless, relatively few beneficiaries (less than 5 percent each year) changed their source of coverage, either traditional Medicare or Medicare Advantage, indicating that initial coverage choices have long-lasting effects.

Study: At Least Half Of New Medicare Advantage Enrollees Had Switched From Traditional Medicare During 2006-11, Gretchen A. Jacobson, Patricia Neuman and Anthony Damico, Health Affairs, doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2014.0218, published January 2015.


Source: Health Affairs