Medicare Advantage (MA) growth was led by United and Humana, while nonprofit insurers lagged behind.
MA experienced record enrollment for the 2023 plan year as for-profit payers continued to grab a greater market share, according to analysis by The Chartis Group.
The healthcare consulting firm examined MA and Medicare data from CMS between January 2019 and January 2023 and found that MA grew 9.5% this year. The addition of 2.7 million beneficiaries brings MA enrollment to 30.7 million in total.
When Chartis originally released the report in February, the findings showed MA growth of 1.5 million members for 2023, representing a slowdown from previous years. However, after accounting for new CMS MA enrollment data, the updated research illustrates that MA is growing faster than ever.
While MA enrollment continues to rise, traditional Medicare remains on the downslope. The report revealed traditional Medicare lost 1.3 million members this year and has contracted by four million since 2019, all while Medicare as a whole has grown by 5.1 million beneficiaries.
"This shift has meaningful implications for health plans and organizations that serve seniors," the authors wrote. "The 'where' and the 'how' of generating enrollment by aligning with growth markets become increasingly important and nuanced."
Much of the MA growth this year was spurred by for-profit insurers, which accounted for 84% of the rise in enrollment. Nearly two in three enrollees came from United (44%) and Humana (21%).
Collectively, the 10 largest for-profit insurers make up 70.6% of MA enrollment nationally, with the top five payers accounting for 67.1%, the analysis found.
While nonprofit Blues plans earned a market share gain of 0.1 percentage point, the remaining nonprofit plans experienced a 1.1 percentage point share decline to continue a pattern from previous years.
"The competitive shift here is stark and will have implications for health plans looking to both enter and grow in this space, for organizations that partner with Medicare Advantage plans, and for healthcare providers that participate in their networks," the authors stated.
As MA commands more and more attention and eventually surges past traditional Medicare in terms of market share, the industry will follow to support its needs.
Jay Asser is the contributing editor for strategy at HealthLeaders.
The Chartis Group analyzed Medicare Advantage and Medicare data from CMS to track enrollment performance in 2023.
Medicare Advantage grew 9.5% by adding a record 2.7 million members, while traditional Medicare lost 1.3 million beneficiaries.
For-profit payers drove the MA surge, with United and Humana accounting for 44% and 21% of the growth, respectively.