Hear Why 32 million Seniors Choose Medicare Advantage

December 15, 2023

Today, more than 32 million seniors and people with disabilities rely on Medicare Advantage because it delivers better services, better access to care, and better value. That number is expected to increase to nearly 34 million in 2024. Medicare Advantage has strong bipartisan support because it is a prime example of a public-private partnership that lowers costs, provides more choices, and delivers better outcomes for the American people.

Medicare Advantage provides greater financial security than original Medicare by capping out-of-pocket costs and offers a range of additional benefits to seniors that original Medicare does not provide, including dental, vision, hearing, and prescription drug coverage with most plans.

Learn why 94% of seniors are satisfied and would recommend Medicare Advantage to their family and friends. 

Better Services

Medicare Advantage helps keep seniors and people with disabilities healthier with better services and benefits. Not only do most Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage, but they often include benefits that original Medicare does not cover, such as integrated vision, hearing, and dental, wellness programs, and in-home caregiver support.

Although telehealth has been part of health care for more than 40 years, it surged into mainstream use during the COVID-19 crisis when in-person contact was limited. In fact, more than 28 million Medicare enrollees used telehealth services between 2020-2021.

For many people, like CMC member Ron, and especially for seniors in rural areas or those with mobility issues, the advantages of being able to receive care from the comfort of home have made telehealth an increasingly popular and effective choice. By delivering high-quality care in a convenient way, telehealth is an efficient and effective way to improve care outcomes, reduce necessary and costly visits to the emergency department, and “gives Medicare Advantage seniors continuity of service and quality of care,” Ron said.

Medicare Advantage helps members get the care and treatment they need — helping seniors and those with disabilities overcome barriers to good health — through supplemental benefits like transportation to and from appointments, prescription drug delivery, home delivery of healthy food, and more. Hear from CMC member Charlene about the importance of her transportation benefits through Medicare Advantage, and from CMC member Kay about the prescription savings Medicare Advantage provides her.

Better Access to Care

A key benefit of Medicare Advantage is its ability to reach and deliver more for communities that need support to access care and achieve better health. About 40% of Medicare Advantage members make less than $25,000 a year, which means affordability and value are critically important. Medicare Advantage’s low- or no-premium plans and capped out-of-pocket costs allow members to access high-quality care that they may not have been able to afford under original Medicare.

Medicare Advantage plans are more efficient, more cost-effective, and deliver better value than the original Medicare. In 2023, Medicare Advantage plans deliver basic Medicare benefits at 83% of the cost of the original Medicare program. Medicare Advantage is also more accurate with less waste. It has a 50% lower net improper payment rate compared to original Medicare.

Many CMC members, like Celia and Bill, speak to the importance of the program’s affordability and access to care. And according to recent polling, more than 9 in 10 senior voters with Medicare Advantage are satisfied with preventive services like screenings, vaccines, and testing, in addition to 94% of senior voters with Medicare Advantage who are satisfied with their coverage overall.

Better Quality

Medicare Advantage delivers better quality, outperforming original Medicare on 16 out of 16 different clinical quality measures. Better quality makes for strong satisfaction year after year. More than 90% of senior voters with MA said they are satisfied with the preventive care services they receive through Medicare Advantage, including 64% who said they were very satisfied. Recent research demonstrates that Medicare Advantage outperformed original Medicare in 10-of-11 preventive measures.

The continued high performance of Medicare Advantage in ensuring access and use of preventive care is important for several reasons. First, we know that an increasing share of low-income and minority enrollees choose Medicare Advantage. These groups have historically had lower rates of preventive care use and worse health outcomes and are therefore especially likely to benefit from Medicare Advantage’s focus on preventive care for individuals with chronic illnesses.

Second, these findings show that Medicare Advantage plans have been able to deliver high quality care even as they continue to achieve greater cost efficiency. This suggests that Medicare Advantage may be a model for efforts to achieve both better outcomes and lower health care spending.

CMC member Jennifer can attest to that satisfaction, noting, “my Medicare Advantage premiums were incredibly affordable and gave me great value.” And with the program’s cap on out-of-pocket costs and care coordination, CMC member Beverly did not have to worry about anything other than recovering from her surgery.

A more recent study also demonstrates that Medicare Advantage health maintenance organizations (HMO), the most common form of Medicare Advantage plan, outperforms original Medicare on seven of seven clinical quality measures, including various key preventive screenings and treatments and monitoring of patients taking certain medications.

A new study published by Harvard Medical School and Inovalon shows that Medicare Advantage enrollees have fewer readmissions, fewer preventable hospitalizations, and lower rates of high-risk medication use than people in original Medicare. Medicare Advantage serves a diverse population of Americans — racial and ethnic minorities and rural residents — while offering expanded services in telehealth and supplemental benefits, like grocery deliveries and rides to and from doctors appointments.

Not only does Medicare Advantage provide better quality, but it is also affordable. The average monthly Medicare Advantage premium in 2023 is less than $18. Additionally, 99% of Medicare-eligible Americans have access to a zero-premium Medicare Advantage plan with drug coverage.

The Coalition for Medicare Choices is underscoring the better services, better access to care, and better value that more than 32 million seniors and people with disabilities already depend on.