Vast majority of those selecting Medicare Advantage choose $0 premium plans

Recently eHealth, Inc. ( released a snapshot analysis of consumer shopping behavior and average costs from the first half of Medicare’s annual open enrollment period for 2020 coverage.

Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period began October 15 and continues through December 7, 2019.

By comparing eHealth’s data with data previously published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), it is possible to see what Medicare beneficiaries are actually purchasing as compared with what is available to choose from in the market.

According to CMS, 24.4 million Medicare beneficiaries are expected to enroll in Medicare Advantage plans for 2020, up from 22.2 million in 2019. The average monthly premium for 2020 Medicare Advantage plans available nationwide is $23, down 14% from $26.87 in 2019. CMS reports that 90% or more of all Medicare beneficiaries in 46 states now have access to Medicare Advantage plans with a $0 monthly premium.

eHealth’s analysis of shopping trends among its Medicare customers between October 15 and November 8, 2019 found:

MA costs are down, consumers increasingly drawn to $0 plans

  • $5.47 is the average monthly premium for Medicare Advantage plans selected by people enrolling in coverage with eHealth, down 43% from $9.53 in the same period last year.
  • 83% of all eHealth Medicare Advantage customers selected $0 premium plans, compared to 76% from the same period last year.

Part D premiums are down year over year

  • $19.76 is the average monthly premium for stand-alone Part D prescription drug plans selected by eHealth customers in the first half of open enrollment, a decrease of 15% from the same period last year ($23.34).

Medicare Supplement premiums show a modest increase

  • $157.48 is the average monthly premium for Medicare Supplement plans selected by eHealth customers in the first half of open enrollment, an increase of 8% from the same period last year ($145.62).

eHealth will continue to monitor consumer behavior and plan selection patterns through the remainder of the open enrollment period and publish additional insights as they become available.

Similar to other insurance brokers, eHealth is compensated on a fixed per-member basis for Medicare Advantage and Part D plans as regulated by CMS, and on a percentage of premium basis for most Medicare Supplement plans.

About eHealth: 
eHealth, Inc. owns, a leading private online health insurance exchange where individuals, families and small businesses can compare health insurance products from brand-name insurers side by side and purchase and enroll in coverage online and over the phone.