Medicare Advantage is saving seniors $2K annually compared to fee-for-service, study finds 

Medicare Advantage members are spending nearly $2,000 less on out-of-pocket costs and premiums annually compared to fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries, according to a new study from the Better Medicare Alliance.

The study, released April 19, was conducted by ATI Advisory and is based on 2019 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey data.

Six key takeaways:

  • Medicare Advantage beneficiaries report $1,965 less in total annual health spending than those with fee-for-service Medicare plans. The difference in out-of-pocket savings grew by $325 since 2018.
  • Cost savings from Medicare Advantage persist across race and ethnicity. Black beneficiaries spend an average of $1,104 less, Latino beneficiaries spend an average of $1,421 less and white beneficiaries spend an average of $1,879 less.
  • Approximately 13 percent of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries experience cost burden associated with out-of-pocket and premium spending compared to 20 percent of fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries. 
  • Over 46 percent of beneficiaries under 200 percent of the federal poverty level were enrolled in Medicare Advantage, compared with 28 percent of beneficiaries over 400 percent of the federal poverty level.
  • Nearly 95 percent of Medicare Advantage and 96 percent of fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries report being "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with the overall quality of healthcare they have received in the past year.
  • Medicare Advantage beneficiaries have similar clinical and functional needs as well as chronic conditions to fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries. 

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