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Life is Full of Choices, Especially When it Comes to Choosing Medicare Coverage

This is the second in a series of findings of Data Decisions Group’s 2022 Medicare Preferences Study. In Article #1, we discussed the differences between age-ins and current plan members when it comes to determining the importance of Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan features.


There’s an obvious economic rationale behind consumers’ choosing Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement. In most cases, other than the $170.10 deducted from members’ Social Security checks to help pay for Part B, Medicare Advantage plans cost consumers nothing. These plans offer services far greater than those included in Original Medicare.

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Consumers choose Medicare Supplement because of their desire to have access to specific providers and networks. This attribute alone is twice as important as any other reason consumers choose Medigap plans. Consumers choose Medicare Advantage because of the add-on services available to them and the fact that prescription drug coverage is included. In the latter case, it’s probably not a coincidence that many TV commercials for Medicare Advantage plans specifically refer to these add-on benefits. Picture2-2

 Both groups consider their monthly premiums low; even though Medigap plans cost considerably more than Medicare Advantage plans, Medigap members say that the amount of their monthly premium is worth it.

Given the importance measures consumers place on the different plan attributes, in Part 3 of this series we’ll look at which brands consumers choose that deliver on those features.

Data Decisions Group conducted the 2022 Medicare Preferences Study, a large, nationwide study of Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement alternatives among 2,324 current Medicare-qualified consumers and 64-year-olds who will become eligible soon. The online study was fielded between March 28 and April 11, 2022. The margin of error for this study is approximately ± 1.5%.


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