Skip to Content

4 Studies Reveal How Medicare Advantage Excels


Published Feb 13, 2024 • by AHIP

Read time: 2 minutes and 22 seconds

There’s a reason Medicare Advantage is the choice of more than 32 million seniors and people with disabilities – more than 50% of the eligible population. And the proof is in the research.

What’s new here: Four recent studies demonstrate how Medicare Advantage provides cost savings and higher quality compared to fee-for-service Medicare — and how the program can serve as a model for fee-for-service Medicare to shore up its own solvency. Further, Medicare Advantage serves a higher overall share of diverse populations compared to fee-for-service Medicare.

The bottom line: The results underscore that Medicare Advantage delivers less expensive, higher quality care to more diverse populations, better rates of preventive service, and higher taxpayer savings compared to fee-for-service Medicare.

Go deeper:

  1. Read the study that shows how Medicare Advantage can help advance trust fund solvency. With the growing concern in the inefficiency of the fee-for-service Medicare program, AHIP commissioned Avalere, a leading health care consulting and advisory firm, to investigate potential cost savings opportunities. The study revealed that if Medicare were to achieve the efficiency of Medicare Advantage for certain services, spending would decrease, leading to an extension of Medicare’s Part A (inpatient) trust fund viability by as much as 17 years. The data demonstrates that when Medicare Part A services were used in Medicare Advantage, compared to the fee-for-service Medicare, Medicare Advantage proved significantly more efficient in use of care— all without sacrificing access to quality care.
  2. Read the study from Wakely Consulting Group, Value of Medicare Advantage Compared with Fee for Service. This report shows that when compared on an apples-to-apples basis, the fee-for-service Medicare program costs more than government estimates, which suggests Medicare Advantage delivers savings to the Medicare program.
  3. Read the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Measures Study, which shows that Medicare Advantage plans provide superior quality of care and better rates of preventive service use while maintaining greater cost efficiency than the fee-for-service Medicare program. Across 11 preventive measures, Medicare Advantage outperformed in 10 out of 11. A higher share of Medicare Advantage enrollees received screenings for two common forms of cancer and recommended treatments for major chronic conditions compared to their fee-for-service Medicare counterparts.
  4. Read the Medicare Advantage Demographics Study, which shows that more Americans from diverse populations chose Medicare Advantage for their health care coverage this past year than ever before. Medicare Advantage had a higher overall share of diverse populations (29%) compared to fee-for-service Medicare (19%). Medicare Advantage services a higher number of Black Americans, Hispanic Americans, low-income enrollees, enrollees aged 75 or older, and a greater portion of women. Medicare Advantage also serves a less healthy population of enrollees compared to fee-for-service Medicare.

Still curious? Explore these resources:

  • A recent Harvard Medical School-Inovalon study showing that Medicare Advantage enrollees have fewer readmissions, fewer preventable hospitalizations, and lower rates of high-risk medication use than people in fee-for-service Medicare.
  • Research that finds more Medicare Advantage penetration in rural areas in 14 states is associated with an increase in hospital financial stability, and a reduction in the risk of closure.
  • Click here to view more AHIP resources on Medicare Advantage.