WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a national Morning Consult poll released by Better Medicare Alliance
Currently, 58 million beneficiaries are enrolled in the Medicare program – of which 19 million are enrolled in Medicare Advantage. Despite enrollment growth in Medicare Advantage, Medicare-eligible beneficiaries continue to report low awareness, understanding and/or confusion regarding their Medicare coverage choices.
The survey of 2,000 respondents found that just 29 percent enrolled in Traditional Medicare say they had the option of Medicare Advantage made clear to them when researching care options. While 27 percent of Medicare-eligible seniors reported not knowing what resource to use to research Medicare enrollment options, 24 percent reported using Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) medicare.gov website and 23 percent reported using CMS' Medicare & You Handbook to research options.
This year BMA submitted recommendations to CMS in response to a request for feedback on the annual Handbook distributed to Medicare-eligible beneficiaries. BMA recommended: information upfront in the Handbook of Medicare coverage choices and key information regarding benefits and consumer protections as well as the inclusion of charts, tables, and illustrations to improve the readability and comprehensibility of the information. BMA also encouraged CMS to include more information on Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plans (SNPs) which was subsequently included as well as the addition of fitness and wellness programs listed as benefits available under Medicare Advantage.
"In order for beneficiaries to make the right choice for themselves as they enroll in Medicare, they deserve easily accessible, clearly understandable information on the choices available to them," said Allyson Y. Schwartz, Better Medicare Alliance (BMA) President and CEO. "We welcomed the opportunity to offer proposed changes to the Handbook and are delighted that a number of recommendations were incorporated. While these changes are important, going forward evidence shows that more work is needed to effectively communicate the option of Medicare Advantage to ensure Medicare beneficiaries and caregivers are making fully-informed critical decisions about their health care."
Other key findings in the poll include the following:
BMA is a broad alliance of more than 90 organizations, including providers, health professionals, health systems, aging service agencies, business groups, retiree organizations, health plans, as well as Medicare Advantage beneficiaries.
Results from the full survey have a margin of error of ±2%.
Click here to read Better Medicare Alliance letter to CMS regarding the 2018 Medicare and You Handbook.
View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/65-of-seniors-on-medicare-are-unfamiliar-with-medicare-advantage-300546466.html
SOURCE Better Medicare Alliance
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