Millions of additional Medicare beneficiaries are expected to have access to managed-care plans based on a substantial number of new applications from insurers.
The CMS said it has received applications for 141 new local Medicare Advantage plans, including 51 applications from insurers that currently don't offer a Medicare plan.
If all the applications are approved, the number of Medicare managed-care plans nationwide would nearly double from the current 185 to 326 -- the largest number of plans since 1999, the CMS said. Beneficiaries in 39 states would have access to at least one Medicare Advantage plan, up from 35 states today.
The CMS said it expects to receive additional applications from insurers that want to expand their existing service areas in 2005.