Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Protecting Medicare Advantage Funding
93% of seniors on Medicare Advantage say protecting MA funding should be a priority for the Biden administration; 92% say a candidate’s support for MA is an important factor in earning their vote
Washington, D.C. – Ahead of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) annual Rate Notice process, in which the agency will announce key decisions related to Medicare Advantage beneficiaries’ funding for the 2023 plan year, a new poll conducted by Morning Consult shows that public support for Medicare Advantage remains high – particularly among the Biden administration’s target voters.
The poll of 1,000 seniors on Medicare, conducted between December 10 – 14, 2021, shows that 93% of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries say that protecting MA funding should be a priority for the Biden administration, including 68% who say it should be a top priority. Among Democratic MA beneficiaries, the numbers rise even higher: 98% identify support for MA as a priority for the administration and 72% say it should be a top priority.
Likewise, nine in ten seniors on Medicare Advantage (88%) say they would oppose the federal government reducing the amount of money it contributes to Medicare Advantage, including 74% who are strongly opposed.
92% of seniors on Medicare Advantage say a candidate’s support for Medicare Advantage is important when they cast their vote, including 95% of Democrats, and 76% of seniors on Medicare Advantage say they would be less likely to support their member of Congress if they voted in support of reduced funding for Medicare Advantage.
“With swelling enrollment numbers and continued near-universal beneficiary satisfaction, it’s no wonder that seniors feel so strongly about protecting the Medicare Advantage coverage they choose and enjoy,” said Mary Beth Donahue, President and CEO of the Better Medicare Alliance. “As these results show, the 29.5 million Americans projected to choose enrollment in Medicare Advantage this year are paying close attention to decisions made in Washington and are ready to make their voices heard. With these poll numbers in hand, we will continue to make the case to regulators and Congress that standing up for seniors’ Medicare Advantage is good politics and good policy.”
“Medicare Advantage beneficiaries don’t view their coverage in partisan, political terms – and neither should our leaders in Washington. It’s notable that Democratic Medicare Advantage beneficiaries’ support for the program outpaces the overall Medicare Advantage population in several key areas. For example, Democratic Medicare Advantage beneficiaries are more likely to say that support for the program should be a top priority for the Biden administration,” said Kenneth Thorpe, PhD, Chair of the Better Medicare Alliance Board of Directors and Chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. “Policymakers can see this data and know that when they have their constituents’ backs on Medicare Advantage funding, their constituents are more likely to have their backs in the voting booth.”
“The results of this poll affirm what our providers on the frontlines of patient care hear every day: seniors like their Medicare Advantage coverage and want to see it protected,” said Jerry Penso, MD, MBA, President and CEO of the AMGA. “Medicare Advantage offers a framework that allows AMGA members to focus on providing high-quality care to their patients. These findings make a compelling case for policymakers to ensure continued support for the Medicare Advantage program.”
“This data is no doubt the effect of the Medicare Advantage community’s ongoing work to address social determinants of health, close the gap on disparities in care, and deliver better health outcomes for all, particularly among communities of color and underserved populations. Protecting funding for Medicare Advantage is essential to ensuring that this work to improve health equity continues. We are proud to be part of that work as Allies of the Better Medicare Alliance,” said Juliet K. Choi, JD, President and CEO of Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF).
In addition to its findings on seniors’ support for Medicare Advantage funding, Morning Consult’s polling also points to the need for improvement in federal resources and outreach to make seniors aware of the basic option of Medicare Advantage at enrollment time.
Nearly half (47%) of all seniors on Medicare say they were not familiar with the option of Medicare Advantage upon turning 65, including 21% who were not familiar at all. Similarly, 48% of seniors on Medicare also say they would have liked to know more about the option of Medicare Advantage when they first enrolled in Medicare.
Nine in ten (93%) seniors on Medicare say it is important for them and other seniors to have a choice of plans other than fee-for-service Medicare, such as a Medicare Advantage plan.
Read a polling memo from Morning Consult HERE.