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What percent of seniors choose Medicare Advantage?

Medicare Advantage plans have become increasingly popular among seniors in recent years. Here is a quick overview of Medicare Advantage enrollment and some key statistics on what percent of seniors are choosing Medicare Advantage plans.

Medicare Advantage Enrollment Growth

Medicare Advantage enrollment has grown significantly over the past two decades. Here are some key statistics:

  • In 2021, 26.9 million Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, accounting for 45% of the total Medicare population.
  • Medicare Advantage enrollment has more than tripled since 2004, when enrollment stood at 8.1 million.
  • Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans grew by 8% from 2020 to 2021.

The growth in Medicare Advantage enrollment reflects seniors’ increasing interest in the extra benefits and reduced out-of-pocket costs that many of these plans offer compared to original Medicare.

Current Medicare Advantage Enrollment by Age

In 2021, Medicare Advantage penetration (the percentage enrolled in Medicare Advantage) varied by age cohort:

  • 49% of Medicare beneficiaries ages 65-74 were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.
  • 44% of beneficiaries ages 75-84 had Medicare Advantage plans.
  • 36% of beneficiaries 85 and over had enrolled in Medicare Advantage.

This data shows that younger, healthier seniors are more likely to choose Medicare Advantage plans, which often provide robust coverage for active lifestyles.

Medicare Advantage Penetration by State

Medicare Advantage enrollment penetration also varies significantly from state to state. Here are the 10 states with the highest Medicare Advantage enrollment percentages in 2021:

State Medicare Advantage Enrollment Rate
Minnesota 63%
Hawaii 61%
Oregon 53%
Arizona 52%
Florida 50%
Pennsylvania 49%
Wisconsin 48%
South Dakota 48%
Iowa 48%
Indiana 47%

Some of the most rural states like Minnesota, Oregon, and Wisconsin have high Medicare Advantage enrollment since these plans offer benefits not easily accessible through regular Medicare providers in these areas.

Key Drivers of Medicare Advantage Growth

There are several important reasons why seniors are increasingly choosing Medicare Advantage plans:

  • Reduced out-of-pocket costs – Many Medicare Advantage plans have $0 premiums and low copays and coinsurance, which helps limit out-of-pocket spending.
  • Extra benefits – Many plans include dental, vision, hearing, fitness, and other supplemental benefits not available through original Medicare.
  • Coordinated care – Medicare Advantage plans often provide integrated healthcare from a network of providers, which can improve convenience.
  • Predictable costs – Copays, deductibles, and annual out-of-pocket spending limits provide financial protection.

Medicare Advantage plans can provide seniors with richer coverage options compared to original Medicare in many situations.


Medicare Advantage enrollment has surged over the past two decades and now accounts for 45% of the Medicare population. Penetration rates are highest among younger seniors under 75 years old. Enrollment percentages vary widely by state, with some of the most rural states having the highest Medicare Advantage enrollment rates. Key reasons seniors are choosing Medicare Advantage plans include lower costs, enhanced benefits, coordinated care, and predictable expenses.