Medicare beneficiaries taking plan selection seriouslyNews added by Benefits Pro on November 15, 2013

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Joined: September 07, 2011

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By Kathryn Mayer

Though some surveys have shown Medicare beneficiaries are confused about enrollment and make quick and uninformed decisions — or no decisions at all — a new survey from Humana paints a different picture.

After surveying 1,000 Medicare-eligible residents, the carrier found that people eligible for Medicare coverage are taking the plan-selection process “very seriously.”

About 70 percent of people 65 and older said that selectihealthg the right Medicare coverage impacts their ability to live a healthy life.

Plus, they found that Medicare beneficiaries take hours to make a decision. Medicare beneficiaries who research and evaluate Medicare options spend, on average, 22 hours on their plan decision — “reflecting the importance they place on the decision,” Humana said.

The survey also found:
  • 64 percent of people eligible for Medicare cite plan quality as the key factor driving them to switch their Medicare coverage, rating overall quality as more important than plan cost and ability to continue receiving care from their primary care provider.
  • 10 percent of Medicare beneficiaries said they would like for someone to do their Medicare planning for them.
  • Nationally, educational resources from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, help from friends, and the Internet are the leading resources Medicare beneficiaries turn to aid them in the plan-selection process.
Humana execs also stressed the importance of enrollment education from brokers and agents, and the one-on-one attention they should provide to beneficiaries.

“Over many years, countless industries have tailored and customized their approaches to working directly with their customers. Our survey reveals that health care is no different — people want individual attention,” said Debbie Smith, vice president, senior products at Humana. “While people enrolling in Medicare or a Medicare plan recognize the importance of selecting the option that works best for them, the research shows they are dedicated to finding what they believe to be the highest quality coverage and will invest the time to identify that best option.”

Medicare open enrollment runs now through Dec. 7.

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