Spoiler alert: With the way the market’s looking for 2020, we feel confident saying now’s a FANTASTIC time to be selling Medicare Advantage (MA) plans. Here’s why.

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), a leader in health policy analysis and health journalism, recently released their Medicare Advantage 2020 Spotlight. If you haven’t read one of these annual spotlights before, you’re in for a treat! They always contain a wealth of facts and statistics that industry professionals can glean valuable insights and predictions from.

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This year, we’ve analyzed their analysis, and summarized the five major things you can expect in the MA market for 2020. For more information, check out KFF’s Spotlight or Data Note!

1. Thirteen New MA Carriers

There are 13 new carriers offering MA products for 2020, bringing the total number of MA insurers up to more than 100!

New Medicare Advantage carriers for 2020 include:

  • ApexHealth, Inc. (NC, SC, TN, and VA)
  • Clarion Health (FL)
  • Community Health Choice (TX)
  • Dignity Health Plan (LA)
  • El Paso Health Advantage (TX)
  • Experience Health, Inc. (NC)
  • Mary Washington Medicare Advantage (VA)
  • MoreCare (IL)
  • Oscar (NY and TX)
  • PHP Medicare (MI)
  • Reliance Medicare Advantage (MI)
  • Troy Medicare (NC)
  • Zing Health (IL)

Only one carrier, Constellation Health (in Puerto Rico), is leaving the MA market. You can learn more about the new entrants here.

2. The Most MA Plan Options Since 2010

For 2020, 99 percent of individuals will have a Medicare Advantage plan available to them. Nationwide, individuals have an average of 28 plans (24 with prescription drug coverage) to choose from, up four from last year. This is the highest number of plans since 2010, during which people had an average of 33 plans to choose from! On average, prospective and current enrollees can expect to be able to select coverage from one of seven different companies.

Individuals have an average of 28 plans (24 with prescription drug coverage) to choose from.

In total, there are 3,148 MA plans on the market for 2020, nationwide, excluding employer and union-sponsored plan types, as well as Special Needs Plans. This is 414 more plans than in 2019, a 15-percent growth. Out of all the MA plans available for 2020, 64 percent are HMOs and 90 percent include prescription drug coverage. Ninety-three percent of MA enrollees will have access to a $0-premium Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) plan.

3. The Year of Special Needs Plans (SNPs)

For 2020, there are more SNPs available than ever before in history. Just under 20 percent more SNPs are available for 2020 compared to 2019. Out of the 855 total SNPs available, 540 of them are Dual Eligible SNPs (D-SNPs) and 165 are Chronic or Disabling Condition SNPs (C-SNPs).

The number of carriers offering SNPs is also increasing. Five out of the 13 new MA carriers for 2020 are offering SNPs (three offering D-SNPs and one each offering a C-SNP and an Institutional SNP).

4. Additional MA Features in Abundance

It’s no secret that 2020 is an exciting year for supplemental benefits in MA plans. For the upcoming plan year, 97 percent of beneficiaries will have the option to enroll in a MA plan that provides some dental, vision, hearing, and fitness coverage. Additionally, 92 percent of individuals will have access to a plan with a transportation benefit, and 96 percent will have access to a plan with a meal benefit.

For 2020, 97 percent of beneficiaries will have the option to enroll in a MA plan that provides some dental, vision, hearing, and fitness coverage.

Prospective and current MA enrollees can also expect some plans to offer home health care benefits, telehealth benefits, retail healthcare clinics, and other value-based care benefits.

5. Consumers Will Find It Even More Beneficial to Work with Medicare Agents

With all of the new carriers entering the market and the increasing number of plan options for beneficiaries, we believe one thing is for sure: The services that MA agents offer will be increasingly valuable to consumers for 2020. Many plan shoppers still don’t have a great understanding of what they’re shopping for and how to make proper comparisons. This is where agents like you shine, especially if you stay up to date on the market by making time for Medicare trainings and reading articles like this one!

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There you have it! With new carriers and expanded product availability and benefits, the MA market is growing and flourishing for 2020. If you’re selling MA plans, we think you can expect your business to do the same.

Want more information on getting started selling MA plans or other Medicare products? Contact your local Ritter Insurance Marketing representative today at 800-769-1847 for free info, advice, sales tools and resources, and more!