Many health insurers are shunning the Affordable Care Act public exchange program this fall but flocking to that program’s older sibling, the Medicare Advantage program.
Medicare Advantage plan business is so attractive that insurers “invested in this segment have been preparing to diligently market their products in anticipation of rolling more members,” according to Mark Farrah Associates.
The total number of distinct Medicare Advantage plans has increased to 2,619 this year, from 2,311 last year, and the number of plans available with no out-of-pocket premium bills for the enrollees has increased to 1,053, from 896, according to Mark Farrah analysts.
The number of Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plans, or plans designed to serve people with chronic health problems, increased to 640, from 589.
The Medicare Advantage program has also shown steady enrollment growth. In September, Medicare Advantage plan enrollment stood at about 20 million, up 7 million from the total recorded a year earlier.
Mark Farrah analysts have published data on the program here.