Having managed employer health plans and open enrollments for decades, I’m not surprised by the following information.
People simply don’t pay attention when it comes to some very important decisions, in this case their health care coverage. The result is often paying too much or not having the best coverage for their situation.
Even people satisfied with their coverage need to look at prices for the following year and at plan changes, both of which are highly likely.
Seven in Ten Medicare Beneficiaries Did Not Compare Plans During Past Open Enrollment Period
With the large number of Medicare private plans – Medicare Advantage and stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plans – offered each year in addition to traditional Medicare, beneficiaries have the opportunity to reassess their coverage each year during the Medicare open enrollment period.
Traditional Medicare beneficiaries can compare and switch Medicare Part D stand-alone drug plans or decide to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, and can also evaluate Medigap supplemental insurance plans, known as Medigap.
Enrollees in Medicare Advantage can similarly compare and switch Medicare Advantage plans or decide to receive coverage under traditional Medicare with or without a stand-alone drug plan and with or without Medigap.
In 2019, 71% of all Medicare beneficiaries reported that they did not compare their plan to other Medicare plans that were available during the 2018 open enrollment period, while 29% of all Medicare beneficiaries reported that they compared Medicare plans (Figure 1; Table 1). Among beneficiaries in Medicare Advantage plans, 68% reported that they did not compare Medicare plans during the 2018 open enrollment period, compared to 73% of those in traditional Medicare (Table 1). Figure 1:
The share of all Medicare beneficiaries who said they did not compare Medicare plans during the 2018 open enrollment period was higher among Black (74%) and Hispanic (79%) beneficiaries, beneficiaries ages 85 and older (84%) and under age 65 with disabilities (77%), and beneficiaries with lower incomes (85%), fewer years of education (e.g., 82% for those with less than a high school education), living in rural areas (73%), those in relatively poor health (74%), and those enrolled in both Medicaid and Medicare (e.g., 87% for full-dual eligibles) (Figure 2).
You can view the Figures at the link below.