Medicare Advantage enrollment on the rise in rural areas

Medicare Advantage enrollment is growing faster in rural and micropolitan areas than in metropolitan areas, according to an analysis from KFF published Sept. 7. 

The number of people living in rural counties — those with populations of under 10,000 — enrolled in Medicare Advantage quadrupled from 2010 to 2023, growing from 10 percent of Medicare beneficiaries to 40 percent. In micropolitan counties (10,000 to 50,000 people), this number tripled, from 15 percent in 2010 to 44 percent in 2023, and doubled in metropolitan areas (over 50,000 people), from 27 percent in 2010 to 53 percent in 2023. 

The number of plan options available to MA beneficiaries living in rural areas has increased from an average of nine plans in 2018 to 27 plans in 2023, according to KFF. 

The number of plan options in rural areas is smaller than in metropolitan areas, where beneficiaries could choose from an average of 46 plans in 2023. 

See the full analysis here. 

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