(Image: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)

Private Medicare plan signups probably increased about 17% during the annual election period for 2018, according to Connecture Inc.

Connecture is a Brookfield, Wisconsin-based company that sets up the electronic systems needed to run web-based health insurance shopping malls.

Many insurers, brokers and health insurance exchange managers use Connecture systems to handle enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare supplement insurance plans, Medicare Part D prescription drug plans and other types of Medicare plans.

Overall signup activity was strong, and Medicare drug plan signups increased about 40%, Connecture estimates, based on its clients’ election period activity. 

The Medicare annual election period for 2018 started Oct. 15, 2017, and ended Dec. 7, 2017.

The Google Trends tool, which reflects general consumer search activity, shows search activity for terms related to Medicare increased about 6% between the election period for 2017 and the election period for 2018.

(Related: Medicare Annual Election Period Sails to an End)

Connecture found that, for its clients, online shopping was 82% more likely to lead to actual signups when consumers used online drug coverage comparison tools.

Connecture’s online shoppers were especially likely to consider plans’ coverage for Eliquis and Xarelto, two drugs used to reduce blood clot risk; Proair HFA, a drug used to treat shortness of breath; and Lantus Solostar INJ, a drug used to treat diabetes.

Connecture says it will release more annual enrollment period data during a webinar on Jan. 24.

—Read NAHU to Expand Medicare Plan Efforts on ThinkAdvisor.


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