What You Need to Know
- A higher percentage of men than women said they understood Medicare Supplement and Advantage plans very well.
- Insurance agents were the top information source for Americans 65 and older when making Medicare decisions.
- Younger respondents were more likely to both use and trust agents.
When it comes to enrolling in a Medicare Supplement or Advantage plan, men are slightly more likely than women to make the decision, and to find the options comprehensible and the process easy to complete, according to a new poll from MedicareGuide.com.
Medicare enrollment largely follows three basic patterns: Original Medicare only, Original Medicare topped with a Medicare Supplement plan and Medicare Advantage. This year’s Medicare Advantage open enrollment period ends March 31.
YouGov conducted the online poll in mid-February among 1,010 Medicare recipients 65 and older.
Among respondents between 65 and 74 years old, 47% had Medicare Supplement and 37% had Medicare Advantage. Among those between 75 and 84, 53% had Medicare Supplement and only 33% had Medicare Advantage.
Seventy-six percent of men in the study described themselves as the main decision-maker when enrolling in a Supplement or Advantage plan, compared with 73% of women.
Men were also more likely than women to enroll in a plan themselves, whereas more women than men were enrolled by an agent.
Forty-two percent of men surveyed said they understood Medicare Supplement plans very well, while only 32% of women said the same. Likewise with Advantage plans: 34% of men versus 31% of women said they understood them very well.
As to ease of enrollment, 53% of men and 43% of women said its was very easy to enroll in Medicare Supplement, and 63% of men and 55% of women said Medicare Advantage enrollment was very easy.