Differences between integrated and non-integrated plans in Medicare Advantage

Sungchul Park, Brent A. Langellier, David J. Meyers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To understand differences in financial performance, quality performance, supplemental benefits provision, and enrollee composition between integrated and non-integrated plans in the Medicare Advantage (MA) program. Data Sources: We used data from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services for 2015–2017. We included 156 integrated MA plans (31 unique contracts) and 2096 non-integrated MA plans (392 unique contracts). Study Design: We estimated linear probably models for financial performance, quality performance, supplemental benefits provision, and enrollee composition with state fixed effects and contract random effects. We adjusted for county-level market structure-related factors, cost-related factors, and demand-related factors. Our primary independent variable was an indicator of plan-provider integration. Principal Findings: Integrated MA plans were associated with $19.4 (95% CI: 9.2, 29.7) and $16.6 (95% CI: 10.3, 22.9) higher Part C and Part D monthly premiums, but were associated with higher star quality ratings. There were no significant differences in revenues and plan payments per enrollee between integrated and non-integrated MA plans. Integrated MA plans were associated with $40.5 (95% CI: −54.0, −26.9) lower non-claims costs than non-integrated MA plans. There was limited evidence that integrated MA plans provided more generous supplemental benefits than non-integrated MA plans. Enrollment rates in integrated MA plans were particularly low among socially marginalized groups (3.4 [95% CI: −5.9, −1.0], 4.7 [95% CI: −8.5, −0.9], and 4.4 [95% CI: −6.4, −2.4] percentage points lower among non-Hispanic Black, Medicare–Medicaid dual eligible, and the disabled). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that integrated MA plans may achieve higher efficiency and quality, but these benefits may not be experienced by all beneficiaries due to disparities in enrollment. As these models continue to spread, it is critical to develop policies to ensure that MA enrollees have equal access to integrated plans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)560-568
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Services Research
Volume58
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Health Research and Educational Trust.

Keywords

  • Medicare Advantage
  • disparity
  • enrollee composition
  • financial performance
  • integration
  • quality performance
  • supplemental benefits

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