Table 1. Frequency of Medicare Plan Comparison Among Medicare Beneficiaries, By Demographic Characteristics, 2018
Characteristic Weighted number of Medicare beneficiaries

(in millions)

Review at least once a year Do not review annually
Do not annually review Review once every few years Review rarely Never review Reviewed once when signed up for Medicare or drug plan
Overall 54.6 43% 57% 8% 22% 24% 3%
Age
Under 65 9.3 43% 57% 7%* 21% 26%* 3%
65-74 27.0 44% 56% 9% 22% 21% 4%
75-84 13.8 42%* 58%* 9% 22% 25%* 2%*
85+ 4.5 34%* 66%* 6%* 25% 33%* 3%
Gender
Male 24.9 41% 59% 8% 24% 25% 3%
Female 29.7 44% 56% 9% 21%* 23% 3%
Race/ethnicity
White 41.0 42% 58% 8% 23% 23% 3%
Black 5.3 47% 53% 9% 22% 21% 1%
Hispanic 4.6 39% 61% 7% 21% 29% 5%
Education
Less than high school 7.7 37%* 63%* 7%* 20% 33%* 3%
High school 14.1 39%* 61%* 8% 23% 27%* 3%
Some college or vocational school 16.6 44% 56% 9% 22% 22%* 3%
Bachelor’s degree or higher 16.0 47% 53% 9% 22% 18% 3%
Income
Less than $10,000 7.0 37%* 63%* 8% 21% 31%* 3%
$10,000-$19,999 6.1 42% 58% 9% 20%* 26%* 3%
$20,000-$39,999 14.8 43% 57% 8% 22% 23% 3%
$40,000 or more 26.7 44% 56% 9% 23% 21% 3%
Medicare Advantage or Traditional Medicare
Medicare Advantage 19.9 49% 51% 9% 20% 20% 3%
Traditional Medicare 34.7 39%* 61%* 8%* 24%* 26%* 3%
Self-reported health status
Excellent, very good, or good 41.3 44% 56% 9% 22% 23% 3%
Fair or poor 11.8 39%* 61%* 8% 22% 28%* 3%
Number of chronic conditions
0 3.2 42% 58% 9% 24% 23% 2%
1-2 18.8 41% 59% 8% 23% 24% 3%
3-4 20.0 44% 56% 9% 21% 23% 3%
More than 5 11.1 42% 58% 8% 22% 25% 3%
NOTES: Adults of Hispanic origin may be of any race, but are categorized as Hispanic for this analysis; All other groups are non-Hispanic. Asterisk represents rows that are statistically significant (p<0.05) when compared to the reference group (italics) in the specific demographic category.
SOURCE: KFF analysis of CMS Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, 2018 Survey File.
Table 2. Share of Medicare Beneficiaries Reporting Their Understanding of Medicare, By Demographic Characteristics, 2018
Characteristic Weighted number of Medicare beneficiaries

(in millions)

Very easy Somewhat easy Somewhat difficult Very difficult
Overall 53.4 23% 46% 23% 7%
Age
Under 65 9.3 18%* 45% 27% 11%*
65-74 26.5 23% 47% 24% 7%
75-84 13.3 26%* 47% 21%* 6%*
85+ 4.3 26%* 46% 21% 6%
Gender
Male 24.2 25% 47% 22% 7%
Female 29.2 22%* 46% 25%* 8%
Race/ethnicity
White 39.9 22% 47% 24% 7%
Black 5.4 31% 46% 16% 6%
Hispanic 4.5 21% 44% 26% 9%
Education
Less than high school 7.6 22% 45% 24% 9%*
High school 13.8 23% 48% 22% 7%
Some college or vocational school 16.1 23% 47% 23% 7%
Bachelor’s degree or higher 15.7 24% 46% 25% 6%
Income
Less than $10,000 7.0 24% 42%* 24% 10%*
$10,000-$19,999 6.0 20%* 49% 23% 8%
$20,000-$39,999 14.4 22% 46% 24% 9%*
$40,000 or more 26.0 24% 48% 23% 5%
Medicare Advantage or Traditional Medicare
Medicare Advantage 19.4 25% 47% 21% 7%
Traditional Medicare 34.0 22%* 46% 25%* 7%*
Self-reported health status
Excellent, very good, or good 40.2 25% 47% 22% 6%
Fair or poor 11.7 16%* 43%* 28%* 12%*
Number of chronic conditions
0 3.1 28% 46% 20% 7%
1-2 18.4 25% 47% 21% 6%
3-4 19.6 22%* 48% 23% 6%
More than 5 11.0 20%* 42% 28%* 10%*
NOTES: Adults of Hispanic origin may be of any race, but are categorized as Hispanic for this analysis; All other groups are non-Hispanic. Asterisk represents rows that are statistically significant (p<0.05) when compared to the reference group (italics) in the specific demographic category.
SOURCE: KFF analysis of CMS Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, 2018 Survey File.
Table 3. Share of Medicare Beneficiaries Reporting Ease of Review of Their Coverage Options, by Demographic Characteristics, 2018
Characteristic Weighted number of Medicare beneficiaries

(in millions)

Very easy Somewhat easy Somewhat difficult Very difficult Do not make decisions about their health care
Overall 53.6 16% 39% 24% 9% 12%
Age
Under 65 9.3 12%* 36%* 26% 13%* 14%*
65-74 26.6 17% 42% 24% 9% 8%
75-84 13.3 17% 39% 22% 8%* 14%*
85+ 4.4 15% 32%* 19%* 9% 26%*
Gender
Male 24.4 17% 40% 22% 9% 11%
Female 29.1 14%* 39%* 25%* 10% 12%
Race/ethnicity
White 40.0 15% 40% 24% 9% 11%
Black 5.4 20% 43% 19% 9% 10%
Hispanic 4.6 15% 32% 26% 11% 16%
Education
Less than high school 7.7 14%* 34%* 21% 12%* 19%*
High school 13.9 15%* 40% 22% 9% 14%*
Some college or vocational school 16.2 16% 41% 25% 9% 9%
Bachelor’s degree or higher 15.6 18% 40% 24% 9% 9%
Income
Less than $10,000 7.0 14%* 34%* 20%* 13%* 18%*
$10,000-$19,999 6.0 14%* 36%* 25% 10% 15%*
$20,000-$39,999 14.4 15% 39% 24% 10%* 12%*
$40,000 or more 26.1 17% 41% 24% 8% 10%
Medicare Advantage or Traditional Medicare
Medicare Advantage 19.4 17% 41% 23% 9% 10%
Traditional Medicare 34.2 15% 38%* 24% 10% 13%*
Self-reported health status
Excellent, very good, or good 40.4 17% 42% 22% 8% 11%
Fair or poor 11.7 11%* 32%* 29%* 14%* 14%
Number of chronic conditions
0 3.2 18% 45% 20% 6% 10%
1-2 18.5 18% 41% 21% 8% 12%
3-4 19.6 15% 40% 24% 9% 11%
More than 5 11.1 14% 32%* 27%* 12%* 15%*
NOTES: Adults of Hispanic origin may be of any race, but are categorized as Hispanic for this analysis; All other groups are non-Hispanic. Asterisk represents rows that are statistically significant (p<0.05) when compared to the reference group (italics) in the specific demographic category.
SOURCE: KFF analysis of CMS Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, 2018 Survey File.
Data Note

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