Medicare Advantage (MA)

Research Products & Journal Articles

Browse the full list of research publications on this topic completed by the Rural Health Research Centers.

Products – Freely accessible products include policy briefs, fact sheets, full reports, chartbooks, and interactive data websites.

Journal Articles – Articles in peer-reviewed journals may require a subscription or affiliation with a subscribing library. For these publications, Gateway lists the article citation, a brief summary, a link to additional information and access to the full-text of the article, if available.

2021

  • Medicare Advantage Enrollment Update 2021
    Policy Brief
    Rapid Response to Requests for Rural Data Analysis
    Date: 09/2021
    The RUPRI Center's annual update on Medicare Advantage (MA) shows that both metropolitan and nonmetropolitan enrollment has continued to grow for more than 10 years. However, between 2020 and 2021 the rate of growth in nonmetropolitan counties was more than twice as large as that in metropolitan counties.
  • Medicare Advantage Enrollment Update 2020
    Policy Brief
    Rapid Response to Requests for Rural Data Analysis, RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 05/2021
    This annual update on Medicare Advantage (MA) shows that both metropolitan and nonmetropolitan enrollment has continued to grow for more than 10 years. The percent of nonmetropolitan MA enrollees in Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans has increased every year since 2017. Metropolitan HMO enrollment has decreased every year since 2016.
  • Availability of Supplemental Benefits in Medicare Advantage Plans in Rural and Urban Areas
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 02/2021
    This brief identifies differences in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans that include supplemental benefits available to rural and urban enrollees. By better understanding the variation in MA plan offerings across the country, policymakers can take appropriate action to improve the value of plans available in rural regions.

2020

  • Medicare Advantage Enrollment Update 2019
    Policy Brief
    Rapid Response to Requests for Rural Data Analysis
    Date: 10/2020
    The annual update on Medicare Advantage (MA) shows that both metropolitan and nonmetropolitan enrollment has continued to grow for more than 10 years. However, the rate of growth has been higher in nonmetropolitan counties for the past two years. Local Preferred Provider Organization plans account for nearly half of nonmetropolitan MA enrollment.
  • Access to Medicare Part D Plans: A Comparison of Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Areas
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 05/2020
    This policy brief updates previous reports on rural activity in the Medicare Part D program. Comparisons are made across county type, within type of Part D plan (standalone and part of Medicare Advantage plans), and between the types of plans within county classifications.

2019

  • Insurer Participation in Rural Health Insurance Marketplaces: Are Some Markets Intrinsically More Competitive Than Others?
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 06/2019
    We examine insurer participation changes in three health insurance (Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, Medicare Advantage, and Health Insurance Marketplaces) markets over time in rural counties.
  • Medicare Advantage Enrollment Update 2018
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 04/2019
    This annual report on Medicare Advantage (MA) enrollment shows growth in the program in nonmetropolitan and metropolitan areas. The rate of metro enrollment is higher than in nonmetro areas, but the growth rate in the nonmetropolitan population is higher. There are also significant differences in metro/nonmetro MA enrollment by plan type.
  • 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.
  • The Market Mechanism and Health Insurance in Rural Places: Lessons Learned from an Economics and Policy Perspective
    Report
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 02/2019
    This paper focuses on unique challenges in health insurance markets facing rural people, providers, and places, identifying their origins in what economists call "market failures," defined narrowly or broadly. We conclude with observations about the current landscape of rural insurance markets and identify issues policy makers should consider.

2017

  • 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.

2016

  • Medicare Advantage Enrollment Update 2016
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 09/2016
    This annual brief examines Medicare Advantage (MA) enrollment data from March 2015 and March 2016. It shows that enrollment in MA and other prepaid plans increased, both nationally and in non-metropolitan areas, but the rate of growth has slowed compared to previous years.
  • Rural Medicare Advantage Market Dynamics and Quality: Historical Context and Current Implications
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 07/2016
    There is significant variation in the quality ratings of MA plans that are available to rural beneficiaries. This brief suggests that policy interventions may be necessary to improve the quality of MA plans in rural areas.

2015

  • 2014: Rural Medicare Advantage Enrollment Update
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 01/2015
    Rural Medicare Advantage (MA) and other prepaid plan enrollment in March 2014 was about 1.95 million, an increase of more than 216,000 from March 2013. Enrollment increased to 1.99 million in October 2014. Rural and urban enrollment increased despite reductions in payment and the conclusion of the MA bonus payment demonstration at 2014's end.

2014

  • 2012 Rural Medicare Advantage Quality Ratings and Bonus Payments
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 01/2014
    This brief analyzes differences in rural Medicare Advantage (MA) quality ratings and payments and suggests reasons why quality ratings vary by geography. Overall, the quality rating of MA plans in rural areas is lower than in urban areas, a result of the availability of, and enrollment in, different types of MA plans.

2013

  • March 2013: Medicare Advantage Update
    Rapid Response to Requests for Rural Data Analysis
    Date: 09/2013
    This policy brief discusses current rural Medicare Advantage enrollment data.
  • September 2012: Medicare Advantage Enrollment Update
    Rapid Response to Requests for Rural Data Analysis
    Date: 04/2013
    This policy brief discusses current rural Medicare Advantage enrollment data.
  • June 2012: Rural MA Enrollment and Premium Update
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 02/2013
    Though 2012 Medicare Advantage enrollment grew and premiums declined, rural enrollees faced higher premiums than urban enrollees. Analysis of the zero premiums by plan in relationship to plans charging premiums gives insights into the MA marketplace.

2012

2011

  • Rural Medicare Advantage 2011: Enrollment Trends and Plan Characteristics
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 10/2011
    This paper reports findings from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data analysis to examine the trends/geographic variations in Medicare Advantage (MA) plan enrollment, premiums, and market concentration by firm. The data provide an overview of the MA program in rural America and highlight key rural/urban differences within the program.
  • June 2011: Rural Medicare Advantage Enrollment Update
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 09/2011
    This brief shows increases in enrollment into Medicare Advantage plans in rural America. The enrollment is concentrated in plans offered by three firms, especially in the types of plans with high rural enrollment, which are preferred provider organizations and private fee-for-service plans.
  • March 2011: Growth in PPOs Dominates the Rural MA Market in 2011
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 04/2011
    From March 2010 to March 2011, rural Medicare Advantage (MA) enrollment in preferred provider organization (PPO) plans grew from 28% (396,006 enrollees) to 46% (702,315 enrollees) of total enrollment, while rural MA enrollment in private-fee-for-service plans fell from 38% (530,678 enrollees) to 16% (249,499 enrollees).

2010

  • September 2010: Rural Medicare Advantage Enrollment Update
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 11/2010
    Rural enrollment in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans grew to nearly 1.5 million enrollees in September 2010 (15% of eligible Medicare beneficiaries), while national MA enrollment grew to more than 11.5 million (25%). Rural Medicare beneficiaries will find fewer options for MA health insurance coverage in 2011.
  • Rural Medicare Advantage: Modest Enrollment Growth in 2010
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 08/2010
    Despite a slight drop in enrollment and a dramatic shift in the landscape of the rural Medicare Advantage (MA) market in early 2010, MA plans have experienced modest growth in enrollment in rural areas during the last two quarters of 2010. The majority of the growth is concentrated in preferred provider organization plans.
  • February 2010: A Dramatic Shift Away from Private Fee-for-Service Plans in Rural Medicare Advantage Enrollment
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 03/2010
    Private fee-for-service (PFFS) enrollment fell in rural areas in early 2010. As a result, Medicare Advantage (MA) enrollment in rural areas fell. Nationwide, enrollment in preferred provider organization and health maintenance organization plans grew, offsetting the decline in PFFS enrollment and contributing to growth in total MA enrollment.
  • December 2009: Rural Medicare Advantage Enrollment Grows 15% in 2009
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 01/2010
    Rural enrollment in Medicare Advantage (MA) and other prepaid plans grew by 15% from December 2008 to December 2009. Preferred provider organization plans drove the increased enrollment in MA plans in rural areas in 2009, while private fee-for-service plans continued to dominate the market with over 50% of enrollment.

2009

  • July 2009: Rural Enrollment in Medicare Advantage Continues to Grow
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 08/2009
    Rural enrollment in Medicare Advantage continues to increase, with growth in the last 18 months led by the growth of preferred provider organization (PPO) plans. Despite the growth in PPO plans, private fee-for-service plans continue to dominate enrollment in rural areas and have accounted for much of the program's growth since 2005.
  • April 2009 Rural Enrollment in Medicare Advantage: Growth in PPOs Outpacing Growth in PFFS
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 05/2009
    Private fee-for-service (PFFS) plans dominate enrollment in rural areas and have accounted for much of the program's expansion since 2005. However, from December 2008 through April 2009 enrollment growth of preferred provider organization (PPO) plans, both nationally and in rural areas, was double the enrollment growth of PFFS plans.
  • Rural Enrollment in Medicare Advantage: Growth Slows in 2008
    Policy Brief
    RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis
    Date: 03/2009
    The rate of growth of enrollment in the Medicare Advantage program decreased significantly in 2008, compared to previous years. The growth rate in preferred provider organization plans in rural areas now exceeds that in private fee-for-service plans. This updates earlier findings from analysis of the MA program reported by the RUPRI Center.

2008

2007

2005