Press Releases
August 4, 2023

New Report: Black, Latino, and Asian Beneficiaries Choose Medicare Advantage Over Traditional Medicare

Press Release

Latino, Black, and Asian Medicare beneficiaries are significantly more likely to choose Medicare Advantage (MA) than Fee-For-Service (FFS) Medicare, according to a new chartbook analysis released yesterday by ATI Advisory.

Using publicly available data from the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey and the Master Beneficiary Summary File, ATI found that 69% of the Latino Medicare population opt for MA, along with 65% of the Black Medicare population and 60% of the Asian Medicare population. Altogether, 27% of MA enrollees are Black, Latino, or Asian compared to 17% in FFS Medicare, the new analysis finds.

Additional findings:

  • MA enrollees are 19% more likely than those in FFS Medicare to live in socially
    vulnerable counties, and 20% more likely to live in counties at high risk for negative
    impacts of climate change.
  • Across race and ethnicity, a higher proportion of enrollees in MA report low incomes under 200% of the federal poverty level compared to FFS Medicare.
  • Black, Latino, and white MA enrollees are more likely to report food insecurity than those in FFS Medicare.
  • Across race and ethnicity, Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in MA spend less on health care than those in FFS Medicare.
  • Despite demographic and geographic differences, Medicare beneficiaries experience similar rates of chronic conditions and report similar care quality across race, ethnicity, and program.

This research, commissioned by the Better Medicare Alliance (BMA), follows a Harvard Medical School and Inovalon study that found MA serves socioeconomically disadvantaged and nonwhite populations at higher rates than FFS Medicare.

“This analysis once again confirms that MA serves a more diverse and economically
disadvantaged population than traditional FFS Medicare,” said BMA President Mary Beth Donahue.”BMA is committed to ensuring that MA continues to prioritize quality care and access for vulnerable communities and more equitable health outcomes for all beneficiaries.”

For the full analysis, see the chartbook linked here.

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