One line of thinking has been that the Baby Boom Generation will enroll in Medicare Advantage plans over traditional Medicare at much higher rates than prior generations because they have had more experience with managed care during their working years. Our prior analysis found that, in 2011, nearly one in four people enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans during their first year on Medicare. This brief examines whether the rate has increased with more boomers aging onto Medicare, and whether these coverage decisions vary by geographic area and select characteristics. The analysis is based on a five percent sample of claims from 2010 to 2016.
In 2016, Less than one-third (29 percent) of new beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans during their first year on Medicare, slightly more than the 23 percent observed in 2011, but far from a majority (Figure 1). Most new beneficiaries (71 percent) were covered under traditional Medicare for their first year on Medicare.