New Report: Medicare Advantage Continues to Serve a More Diverse Population Than Original Medicare

By AHIP | January 18, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (January 10, 2024) – Today, AHIP released its latest report examining the demographics of Medicare Advantage enrollees. Findings show Medicare Advantage serves significantly more diverse communities than original Medicare, including older Americans, women, Black, and Hispanic or Latino/a individuals.

“This report reinforces the Medicare Advantage program’s value. Seniors and people with disabilities in diverse communities benefit greatly from access to the high-quality care that Medicare Advantage provides, and taxpayers benefit through cost savings the program delivers,” said Robert Traynham, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs & Strategic Initiatives at AHIP. “There’s a reason why Americans from all corners of the country and all demographics are choosing Medicare Advantage—it provides better services, better access to care, and better value”.

Key Takeaways:

  • As of 2021, approximately 59% of Hispanic or Latino/a individuals and 57% of Black individuals eligible for Medicare choose Medicare Advantage plans.
  • Overall, 54% of Medicare enrollees who belong to diverse populations choose Medicare Advantage. These populations account for a much higher share of all MA enrollees (29%) than their share in original Medicare (19%).
  • Fifty-seven percent of enrollees with Medicare Advantage are female.
  • Medicare Advantage plans have a higher percentage of enrollees aged 75 years and older: 39% compared to 36% with original Medicare.
  • About 38% of Medicare Advantage enrollees have annual incomes of less than $25,000, while 20% have annual incomes of $80,000 or more. By comparison, 23% of original Medicare enrollees have incomes of less than $25,000, and 35% have incomes of $80,000 or more.
  • As many as 4 million people in Medicare Advantage live in rural areas.
  • Medicare Advantage serves, on average, more enrollees reporting a poorer health status compared to original Medicare: 47% of Medicare Advantage enrollees self-reported their health as “excellent” or “very good” compared to 53% for original Medicare enrollees.

Today, more than 32 million seniors and people with disabilities—over 50% of people eligible to enroll—choose Medicare Advantage.

Medicare Advantage delivers affordable coverage by reducing Medicare’s cost-sharing and offering additional benefits that original Medicare doesn’t cover, including a cap on out-of-pocket costs. And most plans offer additional benefits such as prescription drug coverage, comprehensive dental, vision, hearing coverage, wellness programs, in-home caregiver support, and innovative telehealth options.

“Medicare Advantage delivers on quality, is good for patients, and is good for taxpayers,” Traynham continued. “It is a prime example of the government and the free market working together to deliver lower costs, more choices, and better outcomes for an increasingly diverse American population.”

The report’s significance is notable given other studies showing Medicare Advantage provides higher quality of care than original Medicare and offers policymakers a model for how to strengthen original Medicare for the long-term.

Report findings come from the 2021 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (MCBS) and include enrollees from all 50 states.

  • Click here to read today’s Medicare Advantage Demographics report.
  • Click here for research showing Medicare Advantage outperforming original Medicare in key quality measures.
  • Click here to learn how Medicare Advantage offers a roadmap to extending the Medicare Trust Fund.
  • Click here for a study demonstrating how people in Medicare Advantage have better outcomes than those in original Medicare.
  • Click here for more AHIP Medicare Advantage resources.

About AHIP

AHIP is the national association whose members provide health care coverage, services, and solutions to hundreds of millions of Americans every day. We are committed to market-based solutions and public-private partnerships that make health care better and coverage more affordable and accessible for everyone. Visit to learn how working together, we are Guiding Greater Health.