Consumers seem to be burning up Google with searches for “Medicare Advantage.”
The national search activity level for that term peaked the week of Oct. 22 — the week after the current annual enrollment period for Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans began.
That appears to be by far the highest level of search activity for “Medicare Advantage” since the program came to life.
National search activity for seems to be 25% higher than it was a lower ago, and about 70% higher than it was two years ago, according to an analysis of data on the Google Trends website.
One possibility is that the Democrats’ “Medicare for All” proposals might have wrecked the value of “Medicare” as a Medicare plan shopping search term. But, at press time, most of the top results for a search for “Medicare” seemed to be about Medicare plans, not about the Democrats’ proposals.
Other possible reasons for the increase in search activity:
- Insurers’ ads are working.
- Agents’ sales efforts are working.
- Cost increases for in-force coverage are making current enrollees shop harder.
One piece of evidence that higher costs could be leading to more Medicare Advantage-related search activity: Searches combining “Medicare Advantage and “cost” seem to be much more popular than they were a year ago.
But many of the searchers seem to be shopping. The number of searches combining insurer names such as Aetna and Humana with “Medicare Advantage” has been growing.
Use of the search term “Social Security” seems to have stayed about the same over the past 15 years.
At the state level, the recent Google Trends search activity score for “Medicare Advantage,” for the period from Oct. 15 through Nov. 16, ranges from 30, in Alaska, up to more than 87, in five states, with a median of 67.
For the states where “Medicare Advantage” is a hot keyword, see the data cards in the slideshow above. (Wiggle your mouse over the first slide to make the control arrows show up.)
The Google Trends tool is available here.
Medicare plan enrollment figures are available here.
— Read Medicare Annual Election Period Sails to an End, on ThinkAdvisor.