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Are Med Advantage and Med Supplement Features and Benefits Real or Imagined?
DDG’s Medicare Options Consumer Key Drivers Study quantifies the reasons Medicare-eligible (as well as those soon to be eligible, age-ins) consumers make the decisions they do regarding the Medicare options available to them.
This is the first in a series of findings of Data Decisions Group’s 2022 Medicare Preferences Study.
When it comes to “upgrading” Medicare plan options beyond the benefits offered by Original Medicare Plans A and B, there is a marked and measurable difference between what soon-to-be-Medicare-eligible consumers and actual current Medicare consumers believe is important when choosing a plan. Irrespective of whether age-in consumers are considering a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan, three plan features are essentially equal in importance to them:
1.) Access to specific providers and/or a particular network,
2.) Add-on benefits such as dental or vision coverage, and
3.) Low monthly premiums.
Actual current users of Medicare plans beyond Parts A and B view the importance of plan features much differently. Access to specific networks and providers is, by far, the primary driver of plan preference among Medicare consumers, but that’s where any similarity stops.
This conflation of feature importance—i.e., what age-ins think is important to them versus what ultimately becomes important to them—creates an interesting messaging challenge for plans and their agencies trying to attract aging-in consumers to their offerings.
Our next installment of these research findings will focus on plan features that are truly important to current members of Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans.
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%.