Report

Data Brief: Medicare Advantage Provides Strong Financial Value to Beneficiaries as Compared to All Other Coverage Options

This independent study from ATI Advisory, based on 2017 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) data - the most recent year available - found that Medicare Advantage outperforms Traditional Medicare and other coverage options on out-of-pocket costs for inpatient facility stays, outpatient facilities, and office visits to medical providers. Additionally, Medicare Advantage beneficiaries report lower cost burden than other coverage options. 

Key Findings:

  • At all income levels, Medicare Advantage beneficiaries are less likely to report being cost-burdened by health coverage than beneficiaries in Traditional Medicare. 
     
    • Among Medicare beneficiaries earning between 100 and 199% of the federal poverty level (FPL), 16.6% of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries are likely to be cost-burdened, compared with 37.8% of Traditional Medicare beneficiaries.
       
    • Overall, 13% of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries report cost burden compared to 17.8% in Traditional Medicare and 28% for those with Traditional Medicare plus Medigap.
       
  • For inpatient facility stays, Medicare Advantage beneficiaries see $15 average out-of-pocket costs per year, compared to $126 in Traditional Medicare and $69 for Traditional Medicare with Medigap.
     
  • For outpatient facility visits, Medicare Advantage beneficiaries see $116 average out-of-pocket costs per year, compared to $201 in Traditional Medicare and $141 for Traditional Medicare with Medigap.
     
  • For visits to medical providers, Medicare Advantage beneficiaries see $460 average out-of-pocket costs per year, compared to $673 in Traditional Medicare and $584 for Traditional Medicare with Medigap.