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What drives the decision to elect Medicare Advantage coverage in 2022-23?

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.

An interesting finding is “how similar” the attitudes and opinions of the age-in group and the already-enrolled consumer group is.

The difference in behavior becomes evident when the age-in consumer actually enrolls. The percentage of people seeking Medicare Supplement drops from 26% to 23%, which suggests providers are advised to begin education before they turn 65. Well before.

Using a sophisticated choice exercise, survey respondents were presented with different combinations of Medicare plans and provider attributes and asked to indicate which of them were most and least important to them.

Three factors drive the selection of Medicare Advantage while only one factor is primary in purchasing a Medicare Supplement policy. Access to healthcare provider and/or network is the only common driver between the products.

 The study covers…

  • Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans
  • Providers – usage and intent
  • Consumers’ stated understanding of their Medicare options: only 2% say they don’t understand their options at all
  • Information sources for decision support: government, provider or marketing materials
  • Switching behavior driven by better fit or expense
  • Provider migration by brand: largest number from AARP/United Healthcare while the fewest switched from Kaiser Permanente
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Net Promoter Score by provider name

This research enables DDG to supplement our propensity model score for “likelihood to buy” generated from DDG’s National Medicare Enumeration Survey.

The key driver study is available for purchase.

The “Medicare Options Consumer Key Drivers Analysis” is an in-depth assessment of what drives consumers to make the Medicare decisions they do. Over 2,300 consumers completed that survey in April 2022.

We note that because this was a survey conducted online, potential respondents without internet access were systematically excluded from the sample frame for this research.

The key drivers analysis of importance of specific provider and plan features was acquired through a Maximum Differential Scaling exercise. In this exercise survey respondents were presented with different combinations of 19 aspects of Medicare plans and provider attributes and asked to indicate which of them were most and least important to them. The estimates for the shares of importance were calculated separately for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement users.

Since this survey reflects the results from a sample of consumers, the data are subject to sampling variability, often referred to as “sampling error.”

The sampling error for the Medicare Options Consumer Key Drivers Analysis is ± 2.0%.


For additional information; contact

Dino Fire, President
Market Research & Data Science



Dino Fire
Dino Fire
Dino Fire

Dino serves as President, Market Research & Data Science. Dino seeks the answers to questions and predictions of consumer behavior. Previously, Dino served as Chief Science Officer at FGI Research and Analytics. He is our version of Curious George; constantly seeking a different perspective on a business opportunity — new product design, needs-based segmentation. If you can write an algorithm for it, Dino will become engaged. Dino spent almost a decade at Arbitron/Nielsen in his formative years. Dino holds a BA from Kent State and an MS from Northwestern. Dino seems to have a passion for all numeric expressions.