CMS: February Medicare Enrollment Report: Like it or not, Med Advantage is now the default choice.

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 February 2024:

  • Total Medicare beneficiaries reached 67,059,354...up just 2,434 from January
    • Original Medicare beneficiaries stood at 33,302,454...down 134,000.
    • Medicare Advantage beneficiaries reached 33,756,900...up 136,000.

Since January 2024, Medicare Advantage has officially been the default choice for Medicare enrollees.

I don't think it's a coincidence that this is happening at the same time that Medicare Advantage is catching heat from all quarters.

Over the past decade, Medicare Advantage enrollment has increased from less than 30% of all Medicare enrollment to over 50% as of January 2024,

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.