Most Medicare Beneficiaries Don’t Shop Around for Coverage
The Medicare open enrollment period is now underway, and beneficiaries are encouraged to review their coverage options to see if they can get better coverage or lower costs by switching plans. However, about 7 in 10 (71%) beneficiaries say they did not compare plans during a recent open enrollment period, and some groups were even less likely to do so.
Our recent analysis found that among beneficiaries who could be most affected by plan changes from year to year, like beneficiaries in relatively poor health, age 75 and older or under age 65 with long-term disabilities, a larger percentage reported that they did not compare plans during the 2018 open enrollment period. Additionally, a larger percentage of people on Medicare who are Black and Hispanic, with low income, with fewer years of education, or enrolled in Medicaid did not compare plans during a recent open enrollment period. While this could indicate that many enrollees are satisfied with their existing coverage, past KFF analysis has found that many Medicare beneficiaries reported that the process of choosing their Medicare plan was frustrating and difficult, and most do not switch plans.