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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Expand chart
Data: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; Map: Harry Stevens/Axios

States in the Midwest, South and West have the highest proportions of Medicare members enrolled in Medicare Advantage. Some states have more than 40% of their Medicare population in the taxpayer-subsidized private plans.

The big picture: Roughly a third of all Medicare enrollees are in MA, a program that has garnered bipartisan support despite its shortcomings, and some Wall Street estimates think MA will be the majority option by 2021.

By the numbers: More than 22 million seniors and people with disabilities have a Medicare Advantage plan, according to February 2019 enrollment data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The map highlights enrollment data from 2017, when there were 19.2 million MA enrollees.

  • The state with the highest proportion of private Medicare plan enrollees (57.3%) is Minnesota, although many people are enrolled in "Medicare cost" plans that function as a hybrid between MA and traditional Medicare.
  • MA is the choice of at least 40% of all Medicare enrollees in 6 other states (California, Florida, Hawaii, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island).
  • MA is far less popular in states with sparse populations, like Alaska, Vermont and Wyoming.

Between the lines: States with high concentrations of MA enrollees also have dominant systems of hospitals and doctors that sell MA plans.

  • Many MA members in Pennsylvania buy plans from Highmark, Geisinger and UPMC, while Kaiser Permanente has a strong grip of the market along the West Coast.

What to watch: Health insurance companies will always aggressively pursue areas where there are a lot of seniors, like Florida and California, but the distribution shows there are pockets of the Midwest and Northeast that could be their next targets.

Go deeper

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

7 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.

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