CMS: Medicare enrollment hit 66M in May; Medicare Advantage reached 48.5% of total

Every month for years now, the Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) has published a monthly press release with a breakout of total Medicare, Medicaid & CHIP enrollment; the most recent one was posted in late February, and ran through November 2022.

Since December 2022, however, they haven't sent out the normal press release; instead, they included a brief note leading to a Medicaid/CHIP data slideshow , along with another note leading to their new Medicare Monthly Enrollment database.

In any event, according to the spreadsheet I exported, as of May 2023:

  • Total Medicare beneficiaries reached 65,954,976...up 310,000 from February.
    • Original Medicare beneficiaries stood at 33,945,540...down 12,000 from February.
    • Medicare Advantage beneficiaries reached 32,009,436...up 322,000 from February.
    • Enrollees 65+ reached 58,297,310 (up 381,000)
    • Enrollees under 65 (for various disabilities) reached 7,657,666 (down 71,000)

The most significant takeaway here is that traditional Medicare enrollment once again dropped while Medicare Advantage (MA) enrollment increased...putting Medicare Advantage enrollment at 48.5% of the total.

Over the past 5 years, Medicare Advantage enrollment has increased from 35.5% of all Medicare enrollment to 48.5% as of May, and is clearly set to take over as the default path very soon...likely sometime this year. Obviously whether this is a good or bad thing depends on your perspective, but unless there are significant policy changes to one or both, it's pretty much inevitable.