5 companies maintain market ‘Advantage’

Medicare Advantage is healthy despite concern about reductions in federal payments as a result of health reform. The program will grow by 10 percent this year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. “The Medicare Advantage marketplace is robust, based on plan participation and enrollment,” says “Medicare Advantage 2012 Data Spotlight: Enrollment Market Update.” The future remains uncertain, the report adds, because of what the consequences might be of “the phased implementation of future payment cuts in Medicare Advantage enacted as part of health reform.”

Meanwhile, five insurance companies are making hay. Twenty-seven percent of the Medicare population participates in Medicare Advantage, and 65 percent of those enrollees are with UnitedHealthcare, Humana, Blue Cross & Blue Shield affiliates (notably WellPoint), Kaiser Permanente, and Aetna.

“Enrollment grew particularly rapidly in 2012 in the two largest …, with UnitedHealthcare and Humana adding 17 percent and 20 percent, respectively, to their total enrollment.”

Enrollment in Medicare Advantage (millions)


Medicare Advantage enrollment by company


* “The remaining 35 percent of Medicare Advantage enrollment nationwide is distributed across other national [companies], (including Health Net, Coventry, Universal American, Sterling and Cigna), and more locally based firms and other kinds of Medicare Advantage sponsoring organizations, some of which are relatively large within their markets (e.g., Martin’s Point Health Care in Maine).”

Source: “Medicare Advantage 2012 Data Spotlight: Enrollment Market Update,” Kaiser Family Foundation.

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