A major web broker, eHealth Inc., has pulled another batch of data out of its computers.
This time, eHealth is focusing on consumers who used its systems to buy coverage during the federal government’s first Medicare open enrollment period.
The new open enrollment period is really what amounts to a plan-switching period, for people who already have Medicare Advantage plan coverage.
Part of the new eHealth report presents data that may reflect the unique characteristics of eHealth’s users, or of open enrollment period plan switchers. The web broker found, for example, that its customers’ average Medicare Advantage monthly premiums dropped to $8 this year, from $12 in early 2018. That may or may not reflect what other Medicare plan agents and brokers are seeing.
But eHealth also presented information that may reflect what’s going on in the market as a whole: Why Medicare Advantage plan enrollees are thinking about moving out of their old plans.
The Medicare Plan Calendar
The Medicare Advantage program gives private insurers a chance to sell plans that offer a comprehensive alternative to traditional Medicare coverage.
Medicare supplement insurance policies, or Medigap policies, help users of traditional Medicare coverage, or Original Medicare, pay Original Medicare deductibles, co-payments and coinsurance amounts.
Medicare program managers use an “enrollment period” system, or limits on when people can sign up for Medicare plans without showing they have a special excuse, to push people to pay for any private coverage they want to own even when they feel healthy.