Medicare Advantage is a healthcare program offered by private insurance companies. The program provides benefits to individuals who have Medicare coverage. As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, many changes are occurring that are likely to impact the Medicare Advantage program. Among those changes, the government has made changes to the program’s policies and regulations that will shape how the program operates in the future. This article will discuss what to watch out for in the Medicare Advantage plans 2024.
- Enrollment Rates
According to recent data from The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the enrollment rates for Medicare Advantage have increased rapidly over the past decade. In 2011, only 24% of those with Medicare coverage were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans. By 2021, that number had grown to 42%. It is likely that this trend will continue in the coming years. The growth of the program will likely lead to a decrease in traditional Medicare enrollment, which may impact policy changes in Medicare Advantage.
- Telehealth Services
Medicare Advantage plans have increased their use of telehealth services over the past year. Medicare Advantage beneficiaries are using virtual visits for medical appointments more often than they did before the pandemic, leading to a significant increase in coverage for telehealth services. In 2024, experts predict that telehealth services will become even more prevalent as private insurance companies continue to explore ways to provide medical care to patients remotely.
- Health Disparities
Health disparities among Medicare beneficiaries have been a concern for some time. Through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicare has made efforts to address these disparities by offering a variety of additional benefits to beneficiaries. However, despite these efforts, there are still major health disparities among the Medicare population. In 2024, we expect that the government and private insurance companies will continue to explore ways to address health disparities among Medicare beneficiaries, particularly in low-income and minority communities.
- Policy Shifts
Private insurance companies that offer Medicare Advantage plans are heavily regulated by the government. Policy shifts in the federal government and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) can have significant impacts on the Medicare Advantage program. Some policy changes that we expect to see in 2024 include increased cost-sharing for beneficiaries, changes to the quality rating program, and overall changes to the financial structure of the program.
- Bundled Payment Programs
The government has recently focused on implementing bundled payment programs for Medicare beneficiaries to encourage healthcare providers to offer value-based care. In 2024, we may see private insurance companies begin to explore their own bundled payment programs, which could potentially lead to changes in the benefits offered by Medicare Advantage plans.
The Medicare Advantage program has been rapidly evolving over the past few years, and we expect to see significant changes to the program in 2024. Improved enrollment rates, increasing telehealth services, greater focus on addressing health disparities, policy shifts, and new payment programs are all areas that we anticipate will impact the program’s future. It is critical that Medicare beneficiaries and their families stay informed to make informed decisions on their healthcare options. By being aware of these changes, beneficiaries can ensure that they make the most of the benefits offered by Medicare Advantage plans.