Every Medicare open enrollment season, health insurers, brokers and other third parties use a blitz of TV ads to attract enrollees to Medicare Advantage plans from among the 65 million people with Medicare. We watched more than a thousand ads and conducted focus groups to better understand the marketing effort and its impact on beneficiaries. Learn more about this project at the links below.
Our review of more than 1,200 unique TV ads identified a variety of marketing tactics behind the ads, including a heavy reliance on celebrity endorsers, the liberal use of images of government-issued Medicare cards and what appear to be official hotlines, and suggestions that seniors who do not sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan could miss out on benefits that they are entitled to.
Through focus groups we captured Medicare beneficiaries’ views and experiences during open enrollment in choosing between traditional Medicare and private plans, and among private plans, as well as the factors that influence these decisions.
Each year, Medicare beneficiaries have an opportunity to make changes to how they receive their Medicare coverage during the nearly 8-week annual open enrollment period. This brief answers key questions about the Medicare open enrollment period and Medicare coverage options.