What You Need to Know
- A sizable number of Americans do not sufficiently understand the health insurance they rely on for coverage.
- Many Medicare-eligible Americans turn to licensed insurance agents for help with enrollment.
- While 29% percent of respondents said they trust their doctor most as an information source on Medicare plans, only 3% used them as a source in choosing a plan.
As American seniors review Medicare Advantage applications, which are due March 31, a timely question is: How well do they understand these plans? Another question is how they use and trust sources of information about the plans in their buying decisions.
A recent survey showed that a sizable number of Americans do not sufficiently understand their health insurance.
MedicareGuide.com conducted the online survey in mid-February among 1,010 U.S. adults 65 and older with Medicare plans.
The survey found that 29% of respondents did not fully understand their Medicare Advantage plans, and 23% did not fully understand their Medicare Supplement plans.
Given their lack of understanding, many Medicare-eligible Americans turn to agents for help with enrollment.
Twenty-eight percent of respondents said they relied on a licensed agent a lot, followed by 14% who said they used the internet and 8% who cited government information as their main source.
Twenty-nine percent of respondents said they trust their doctor most as a source of information on Medicare Advantage and Supplement plans, but only 3% used them as a source in selecting a plan.
Following are respondents’ most trusted sources of information:
- My doctor: 29%
- Licensed agent: 20%
- Friends and family: 16%
- Government information: 15%
- Internet: 4%
- TV: 1%
- Email marketing: 1%
- Telemarketing: 0%
The survey underscored the importance of trust in licensed insurance agents among plan shoppers. Fifty-two percent of Americans who signed up with Supplement or Advantage plans were enrolled by an agent.