Medicare Supplement Memberships Continue to Grow
According to health-plan data aggregator Mark Farrah Associates’ new Healthcare Business Strategy Report, the number Medicare Supplement polities issued over the last three years rose 7.5 percent during 2011, over the year. According to data aggregated from financial statement filed with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, as of December 31, 2011, 9.9 million seniors had supplement plans, an increase from 9.7 in 2010. Compared to data from 2010, Medicare Supplement plans experienced a 4.1 percent increase in earned premiums ($21.36 billion) and a 5.4 percent increase in incurred claims ($17.1 billion) during 2011.
Nearly 190,000 more lives were covered by supplementary plans in 2011 over 2011. During 2011, 47 percent of people obtaining the so-called “Medigap” coverage purchased Plan F, a plan design that covers Medicare deductibles, coinsurance, and co-payment costs. Additionally, since their introduction in June 2010, 265,000 people have chosen Plan N options. By far the most unpopular choice in 2011, Plan M, despite doubling its number of covered lives, covers less than 600 people.
Managed care organizations have seen little change in dominance over the past 3 years as the top seven companies remain the same. UnitedHealthCare, boosted by its AARP contract, maintains a commanding, and industry-leading, 31 percent market share. Mutual of Omaha remains in second place with an 11 percent share. However, due to increased diversification with stand-alone Part D plans, Medicare Supplementary, and Medicare Advantage plans, the list could changes as new products and companies enter the marketplace.