Most states offer Medicare Advantage plans to retired employees: 5 things to know

In 2024, 36 states offered Medicare Advantage plans to retired employees, according to a report from KFF published May 23. 

Almost every state provides health benefits to retired state employees, and an increasing share do so through Medicare Advantage. Here are five findings from the report to note: 

  1. Just one in five employers offers health benefits for retired employees. Public employers are much more likely to offer these benefits than private-sector employers, according to KFF. 

  2. In 2024, 48 states and the District of Columbia offered Medicare benefits to retired employees. Of these states, 23 offered Medicare Advantage and Medicare supplement plans, and 14 offered Medicare supplement coverage only. 

  3. 12 states — Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and West Virginia — offered MA plans only. 

  4. Of these states, three offered $0 premium plans to retirees. In some states, enrollees may pay more in premiums through state-benefit plans than if they enrolled in other MA plans offered in their area, according to KFF. 

  5. Some retirees have pushed back on states that have tried to implement Medicare Advantage as the only option for former employees. In New York City and Delaware, judges have sided with retirees who sued to block the implementation of MA plans for state retirees. Advocacy groups have expressed concerns with higher rates of prior authorization and narrow networks in Medicare Advantage. 

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