Medicare Advantage enrollment is growing in many big cities to a point where half of all Medicare beneficiaries (or more) are enrolled in a Medicare replacement plan.
In case you didn’t know it, Medicare Advantage replaces your Medicare. If you join a Medicare Advantage plan, you have subcontracted your Medicare to an insurance company.
Medicare has posted the most recent number for Medicare Advantage enrollment by county.
Here is what Medicare Advantage enrollment looks like in Arizona counties.
Pima County (Tucson) has the second highest percentage of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans in Arizona. Tucson was featured in a 1996 New York Times article as “the future of Medicare” because of the popularity of private Medicare plans. (They weren’t called “Medicare Advantage” at that time.)
Maricopa County (the Phoenix area) comes in third, but their Medicare Advantage plans are not as good as plans in Tucson. There are so many doctors and hospitals in the Phoenix area that plan networks are divided up, making it confusing to figure out different plans’ networks.
Santa Cruz County (Nogales area) is not a big urban center, but it has over 50% of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans. I assume this is based on elderly residents having lower incomes that prevent them from buying Medicare supplements.
There aren’t many Medicare Advantage plans in rural areas and many insurance companies have dropped their Medicare Advantage plans in counties like Cochise and Yuma.
Medicare Advantage enrollment in some big urban areas around the country.