Payors Report Substantial Increases in Medicare Advantage Enrollment

Leading U.S. insurance companies have reported a surge in Medicare Advantage membership during the 2019 enrollment period. Humana on Feb. 6 was the latest to report, citing a full year 2019 individual Medicare Advantage membership increase of 375,000 to 400,000 members, up 12% to 13% from 2018.

Earlier this week Centene and WellCare also reported substantial enrollment increases in their Medicare plans. Centene’s Medicare plan enrollment, including Medicare Advantage, was up 25% from the previous year, rising to 416,000 members from 333,7000 during the 2018 enrollment period.

WellCare on Feb. 5 reported that enrollment in its Medicare plans (including Medicare Advantage) reached 545,000 compared to 496,000 the year prior, an increase of nearly 10%. Anthem also recently reported rising Medicare Advantage enrollment, with a 53% increase between the 2019 and 2018 enrollment periods.

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Though hospice care is not currently covered under Medicare Advantage, Home Health Care News in January reported that The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation has unveiled a hospice carve-in to become effective in 2021. The carve-in is intended to expand access to hospice services and enable greater coordination between hospice providers and the patient’s other clinicians.

Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies approved by the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and include HMO, PPO, and fee-for-service plans among other options.