Research shows most older Americans don’t shop around for Medicare plans—and further research shows that means they’re likely missing out on savings.
MedicareGuide surveyed over 2,280 Americans 65+ to gauge shopping trends as this year’s Open Enrollment Period comes to an end Dec. 7.
The research shows that about two-thirds of the Medicare-aged population has yet to review their Medicare options and an even larger number, 88%, hadn’t changed their Medicare plan.
Among older Americans who reviewed their options but didn’t change plans, 67% said it was because they couldn’t find a better plan.
Seeking dental, vision, hearing coverage
The second largest number, 13%, wanted better drug coverage.
Of those who found a cheaper plan, most (85%) saved less than $50 a year.
Sticking with current plan
Just 11% switched from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage.
The largest percentage of this group, 8%, cited better benefits.
Only 5% of older Americans switched from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare.
Of those who did, the largest number, 3%, said it was for the ability to see any doctor.
Overall, 66% say they never changed Medicare plans.
The greatest number who did change, 18%, did so just once. Nine percent changed twice, and 4% changed three times.
“Historically, most beneficiaries don’t change plans, but coverage and cost can change significantly year to year, especially now because of Covid,” said Jeff Smedsrud, the cofounder of MedicareGuide’s parent company HealthCare.com. “It is becoming easier to use online tools to review your plan and find potential savings. It pays to shop around.”
Meanwhile, 85% of older Americans didn’t change their prescription drug plan.
The largest percentage who did, 9%, said it was due to price.
Of those enrolling in Medicare, the largest number of respondents, 30%, enrolled themselves online.
Explore the full survey results and methodology.