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Extend Health Survey: 58% Of Seniors Who Buy Private Medicare Plans On A Health Insurance Exchange Intend To Reevaluate Their Plans During The 2013 Annual Open Enrollment Period

A survey of 370 seniors who purchased private Medicare plans in previous years using a health insurance exchange revealed that 58% 1 intend to reevaluate their plans, with 54% saying they will “possibly” replace one or more of their plans and 4% saying they “definitely” will. Asked why, the top three responses were: "I just want to confirm that I have the best coverage for me" (61%); "My premiums increased" (21%); and "My out-of-pocket expenses increased" (8%).

When asked what they think about the process of reevaluating their plans using the Extend Health exchange versus doing it on their own, 70% said, “It is easier” to use the Extend Health exchange.

The 2013 annual open enrollment period (OEP) runs from October 15–December 7, 2012. The survey was fielded prior to the OEP by Extend Health, which operates the nation’s largest private Medicare exchange. The company has been surveying seniors on their attitudes about retirement, healthcare and Medicare since December 2009. Extend Health is a Towers Watson company.

Said Bryce Williams, founder of Extend Health and Managing Director of Exchange Solutions for Towers Watson, “These results confirm two things we know to be true about the private exchange model: First, a majority of seniors are taking responsibility for their own health care benefits by proactively engaging in an annual ‘health care benefits checkup.’ Second, they are doing so because it is easier to reevaluate, compare and contrast plans using an exchange.”

Added Williams, “These results send an important message to insurance companies offering plans on exchanges: you have an opportunity to win – or lose – customers every year, depending on your ability to compete through price and service. This is good for both seniors and the health insurance companies that serve them in the private Medicare market.”

Questions and detailed results from the survey are as follows:

What do you plan to do during the 2013 Medicare annual open enrollment period?
 

Revaluate one or more of my existing plans and possibly replace one or more of them
54.2%
 

Renew my existing plan or plans without reevaluating them
41.0%
 

Definitely replace one or more of my existing plans
4.0%
 

Drop one or more of my existing plans without replacing them
0.8%
 

If you plan to reevaluate one or more of your existing plans, what is the most important reason prompting you to do so?
 

I just want to confirm that I have the best coverage
61.0%
 
My premiums increased 21.1%
 
My out-of-pocket expenses increased 7.5%
 
My prescription drugs changed 4.4%
 

My current plan changed or is no longer offered
3.1%
 
My benefits changed 2.2%
 
My health status changed 0.9%
 

What do you think about the process of reevaluating your private Medicare plans with Extend Health compared with doing it on your own?
 
It is easier 70.3%
 
It is the same 23.3%
 
It is harder 6.4%
 

Extend Health has helped hundreds of thousands of seniors compare and choose private Medicare plans. Extend Health is the only place seniors can compare thousands of plans from more than 80 carriers side by side and find plans that best meet their needs. Licensed benefit advisors are available to help seniors evaluate their Medicare coverage and explore new options quickly and easily by calling 1-866-322-2824 toll free.

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