Tag Archives: Mary Yeh

What Medicare Advantage plan options are available to individuals of different racial and ethnic groups?

Are there differences in access to healthcare—specifically for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans—for racial and ethnic minorities? MA plans are offered in almost every county throughout the U.S., and the plan options available are specific to each county. Anyone living in one of those counties who is eligible for Medicare can enroll regardless of race or ethnicity. What is the impact of geography on the number and average characteristics of plans available to each ethnic and racial group?

This paper by Milliman’s Adam Barnhart and Mary Yeh evaluates the general enrollment MA plans available to individuals for different racial and ethnic groups in the United States. They examined plan options available to individuals aged 65 and over belonging to five different racial or ethnic groups (white, Black, Hispanic or Latino, Asian or Pacific Islander, or American Indian or Alaska Native) from 2016 to 2020.

Analyzing the Medicare Advantage landscape

Each Medicare Advantage (MA) plan has an associated “value added,” which is defined as the value of benefits provided to a specific plan’s beneficiaries beyond traditional Medicare that are not funded through member premiums. This metric accounts for the value of non-Medicare-covered benefits, reductions in cost sharing to traditional Medicare, any buy-down of the Part B premium, and any additional premium the member is responsible for. Therefore, two plans with identical benefits will have different value added amounts if their premiums vary.

This report by Milliman actuaries highlights changes in the MA value added from 2016 to 2020. The authors focus their analyses on general enrollment and dual-eligible special needs plan types nationwide, excluding any U.S. territories.