Medicare Advantage members spend over $2,500 less than traditional Medicare enrollees annually: Study 

Medicare Advantage enrollees spend more than $2,500 less on healthcare costs on average than traditional Medicare enrollees, according to an independent analysis by ATI Advisory.

The analysis was commissioned by the Better Medicare Alliance and published June 10. It used data from the Medicare current beneficiary survey and cost supplement files from 2019 to 2021.

Six key takeaways:

1. Medicare Advantage enrollees spent $2,541 less on healthcare costs on average than FFS Medicare enrollees in 2021.

2. From 2020 to 2021, the average total healthcare spend for Medicare Advantage and FFS Medicare beneficiaries rose 24% and 15%, respectively. 

3. Among Black, Latino, and white MA and FFS enrollees, white enrollees had the highest total spending, while Latinos had the lowest. 

4. In 2021, MA enrollees were 58% more likely to report an income under 200% of the FPL compared to one-third of FFS Medicare enrollees. 

5. Among Medicare beneficiaries who reported incomes less than 200% of the FPL, less than one-third of MA enrollees experienced a cost burden from healthcare expenses in 2021 compared to half of FFS Medicare enrollees.

6. Among Medicare beneficiaries with zero to two chronic conditions, FFS enrollees spent an average of $1,392 more on healthcare expenses annually than MA enrollees. Among members with three or more chronic conditions, FFS Medicare enrollees spent $3,165 more on healthcare expenses than MA enrollees annually.

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