Report Says Growth Opportunities Abound in Medicare Advantage


Mark Farrah Associates (MFA) reported that over 18.3 million people were enrolled in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans as of June 1, 2016, with plans adding 583,407 members in the first five months of 2016. According to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), approximately 57 million people are currently eligible for Medicare, up 4% from 54.7 million at the end of 2015. Market penetration, calculated by dividing MA customers by Medicare eligibles, has grown significantly over the last 3 ½ years. Companies offering Medicare Advantage plans have increased market penetration from 28.7% on average to 32%, a growth of 10.5% across the U.S.

In the latest Healthcare Business Strategy report, Mark Farrah Associates assessed MA market penetration, utilizing CMS Medicare Advantage enrollment reports aggregated in Medicare Business Online™, in five states that have played a key role in driving the national growth in penetration. Illinois, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas and Michigan have significantly outpaced other states in growing their market penetration since 2013. Without the impact from these states, the overall change since 2013 would not have been as noteworthy.

As part of the analysis MFA provided enrollment data for the top five health plans within each state. UnitedHealth and Humana commanded the lead for most of the five states, however, many other insurers experienced exceptional membership growth between December of 2013 and June of 2016. As long as industry support for managed care Medicare options remains strong, insurers will continue to invest in these growth opportunities.

This assessment is a summary of findings presented in “Medicare Advantage Market Penetration” the latest Healthcare Business Strategy™ release. Mark Farrah Associates regularly reports interesting updates about health insurance enrollment, performance and competition in this complimentary series. To access Healthcare Business Strategy™, visit the Analysis Briefs library at

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