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New Research: MA Enrollees Have Better Outcomes than People in Original Medicare

Press Release

Published Nov 8, 2023 • by AHIP

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (November 8, 2023) – More than 31.5 million seniors and people with disabilities choose Medicare Advantage (MA) because it delivers better services, better access to care, and better value. A new study published by Harvard Medical School and Inovalon shows that Medicare Advantage enrollees have fewer readmissions, fewer preventable hospitalizations, and lower rates of high-risk medication use than people in original Medicare.

The Harvard-Inovalon Medicare Study compared health and quality of care outcomes for Medicare Advantage enrollees versus those in original Medicare. After controlling for socioeconomic and patient characteristics, the study found:

  • Avoidable hospitalizations in original Medicare were 1.7 times higher than in Medicare Advantage
  • Original Medicare readmissions were 3.8 times higher than Medicare Advantage
  • Rates of inappropriate high-risk medication use were 1.4 times higher in original Medicare than Medicare Advantage

The study relied on a sample of 50,512 individuals enrolled in original Medicare and 10,158 individuals enrolled in Medicare Advantage. It adjusted for pre-existing differences between the two populations, such as different demographic, clinical and social risk factors.

Medicare Advantage serves a diverse population of Americans—about half of all racial and ethnic minorities eligible for Medicare choose Medicare Advantage and 56% of the program’s enrollees are women. In rural counties, 40% of those eligible choose Medicare Advantage. Medicare Advantage plans have the flexibility to offer expanded access to telehealth services and supplemental benefits such as grocery deliveries and rides to and from doctors’ appointments.

Medicare Advantage is a prime example of the government and free market working together to deliver better services, better access to care, and better value.

Click here to view the Harvard-Inovalon Medicare Study.

Click here to view more AHIP resources on Medicare Advantage.

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.