Medicare Advantage plans are covering more people now than they were a year ago, and they have captured a larger share of the Medicare market.
The number of Medicare Advantage plan enrollees has increased to 18 million, up 5.4 percent from the total recorded in early 2015.
The plans serve 33 percent of the 55 million people who are eligible for Medicare, up from 32 percent of 54 million Medicare-eligible people a year ago.
Mark Farrah Associates (MFA) has reported those numbers in an analysis based on data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
See also: Medicare plan business grows again
The Medicare Advantage program, or Medicare Part C program, gives private insurers a chance to use a combination of cash from Medicare and premium payments from enrollees to offer an alternative to traditional Medicare coverage.
MFA analysts also looked at the performance of specific Medicare Advantage plan issuers.