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Life Health > Health Insurance > Medicare Planning

Medicare Advantage sales boom in Illinois and North Carolina

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Issuers of Medicare Advantage plans have pried about 240,000 Medicare enrollees away from the traditional Medicare program in Illinois since December 2013, and about 209,000 in North Carolina.

Related: Medicare Advantage issuers gain market share

Analysts at Portland, Maine-based Mark Farrah Associates give Medicare Advantage market snapshots for those states, and for Georgia, Michigan and Texas, in a new mid-year Medicare Advantage enrollment report.

Because of the way the Medicare Advantage enrollment calendar works, the issuers’ share of the 55 million people in the Medicare market actually fell to 32 percent in June, from 32.3 percent in December. But the issuers’ share of the national Medicare-eligible market is up from 28.7 percent in December 2013.

Medicare Advantage share growth has been especially strong in Illinois and in North Carolina.

In Illinois, strong growth at UnitedHealth Group and Health Care Service Corp., the parent of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, has helped to increase the Medicare Advantage program share of the state’s Medicare market to 21.8 percent in June, from 11 percent in December 2013.

In North Carolina, growth at Humana and Aetna increased the Medicare Advantage share of the market to 30.5 percent, from 20.6 percent, over that same 30-month period.

The five snapshots also show how nonprofit Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans and other nonprofit carriers are doing in state Medicare Advantage markets.

A Blue Cross and Blue Shield carrier leads the market in Michigan and is a serious contender in North Carolina. In two other states, the Blues are leading providers, but not market leaders. In the fifth state, Texas, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield carrier does not rank in the top five in terms of Medicare Advantage market share.


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