New Data Show Very Few People with Medicare Choose to Switch Plans Each Year

Julie CarterMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

A new data note from the non-profit Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), however, reveals that very few people with Medicare end up switching plans during the fall. Among MA and PDP plan enrollees who did not receive low-income subsidies, fewer than 8% of people enrolled in MA plans chose to switch to another MA plan in 2016. The pattern is similar for standalone drug plans–just over 8% switched from one PDP to another. This could mean that beneficiaries have reviewed and are happy with their coverage, but it might highlight a more troubling reality– people may not know they can switch plans or may find the process of comparing plan options too burdensome. Read More...

Recent Changes Add Complexity to Medicare’s Fall Open Enrollment Period

Lindsey CopelandMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

Medicare’s Fall Open Enrollment Period (OEP) is a busy time for beneficiaries and those who help them evaluate their health care and prescription drug coverage options. From October 15 to December 7 each year, people with Medicare can make changes to their coverage, such as switching Part D prescription drug plans, or switching between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. This annual decision-making process can be complex, and several changes this year are making it even more so. Read More...

Poll Finds Many Americans Worried about Health Care Costs and Struggle to Afford Care

Julie CarterMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

A recent poll and study by Gallup and West Health found that most Americans are worried about rising health care costs, and many are also concerned about bankruptcy from major health events. Older adults have somewhat more confidence about their access to quality care than younger people, but they still experience difficulty with affordability, especially when it comes to paying for prescription drugs. These findings and more are an important indicator that more must be done to bring down health care costs. Read More...