Analysis of Trends in Characteristics of Rural Beneficiaries Enrolling in Medicare Advantage Plans

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2016
Project completed:
March 2019

This study compared characteristics of rural and urban beneficiaries enrolling in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, including their age, health status, income, and race/ethnicity. We analyzed the consequences of increasing use, promoted by policy choices, of a market-based approach in the Medicare program.


  • Comparing Rural and Urban Medicare Advantage Beneficiary Characteristics
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 03/2019
    This brief reports few rural and urban differences in observed demographic characteristics among enrollees in the Medicare Advantage program. Issuers often exclude rural counties from their service areas, but we find no evidence that this is due to such demographics, suggesting that other reasons relating to population size may be more likely.
  • Medicare Advantage Enrollment Update 2017
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 08/2017
    Reports on the percentage of rural Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans and other prepaid enrollment plans. Compares national and rural MA enrollment, and variability by state.