CMS: Medicare enrollment broke 66.3M in August; Medicare Advantage reached 48.8% 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 August 2023:

  • Total Medicare beneficiaries reached 66,338,178...up 129,947 from July.
    • Original Medicare beneficiaries stood at 33,990,000...up 32,209 from July.
    • Medicare Advantage beneficiaries reached 32,348,178...up 217,128 from July.
    • Enrollees 65+ reached 58,759,355 (up 159,761)
    • Enrollees under 65 (for various disabilities): 7,579,823  (down 29,814)

The most significant takeaway here is that whle traditional Medicare enrollment did increase slightly, Medicare Advantage (MA) enrollment inceased substantially faster...putting Medicare Advantage enrollment at 48.8% of the total.

Over the past 5 years, Medicare Advantage enrollment has increased from 35.5% of all Medicare enrollment to 48.8% as of August, and is clearly set to take over as the default path very soon...likely sometime next 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.