(Image: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)

News is leaking out that many agents who sell Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D drug are exhausted.

The annual election period for those products started quietly, on Oct. 15, and ended quietly, yesterday.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has responded to hunger for information about the Affordable Care Act public exchange system by publishing weekly HealthCare.gov enrollment activity updates.

CMS has not published the same kind of weekly or biweekly Medicare plan enrollment data.

A comparison of Medicare-related terms on Google Trends suggests that sales might be somewhat stronger this year. 

(Related: New Medicare Product List Stuns Analysts)

We tried to get a rough measure of Medicare-related Google search activity by looking at how the search terms “medicare,” “medicare advantage” and “medicare drug plan” performed during three comparable weeks in 2016 and 2017: 

The three weeks included were the first week of the annual election period, Thanksgiving week, and the first week after Thanksgiving.

Google Trends shows search term use intensity levels on a range from 0 to 100.

For the terms “medicare” and “medicare advantage,” the Google user interest level increased 6.4% between 2016 and 2016, to about 80.

For the term “medicare part d plan,” the interest level fell 3.1%, to 72.

The consumers who are changing plans, or getting plans for the first time, may be more interested in live-human help: The interest level for “medicare agent” increased about 20%, to 67. 

—Read Open Enrollment 2018 Crawls Into Open on ThinkAdvisor.


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