Medicare Advantage plans so far have added 217,000 new beneficiaries during the first half of the programs open enrollment period, about an 80% increase over the same period last year, according to CMS data and Wall Street analysts. A majority of the growth occurred in the private fee-for-service sector, industry analysts state.
The report shows just three weeks of enrollment figuresroughly through Dec. 7, 2007but already has many analysts predicting a boom year for Medicare Advantage. The CMS open enrollment period ran from Nov. 15 through Dec. 31, 2007.
Historically, the second-half enrollment figures tend to be much higher. Medicare Advantage plans added more than 700,000 enrollees when the final January 2007 data became complete, far more than the 132,290 initially reported.
Aetna, Health Net, Humana, WellCare Health Plans and WellPoint all show positive gains in Medicare Advantage enrollment, while Coventry Health Care and UnitedHealth Group show losses so far, according to data culled by two Wall Street firms. -- by Matthew DoBias
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