Report Summary

Inflation's compression of consumer budgets has caused a prioritization of cost over choice of doctors when selecting coverage, driving consideration of switching.

Patrick Rahlfs, Senior Research Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary

    • What you need to know
    • Cost surpassed choice of doctors as the top factor in coverage selection
    • Consumers with tight financial situations consider switches
    • Graph 1: changes in Medicare coverage, by financial situation, 2023
    • Research remains rare, but annual evaluation may drive win-back opportunities
    • Graph 2: Medicare plan research and review, 2023
    • Telehealth coverage is expected, but not yet as a primary option
    • Graph 3: telehealth preference, by generation, 2023
    • Market predictions
    • Opportunities
  2. Consumer Insights

    • Consumer fast facts
    • Plan enrollment
    • Medicare Advantage pulls even with Original Medicare
    • Graph 4: Medicare plan enrollment, by year, 2013-23
    • Medicare Advantage reached 57% of Part D coverage
    • Graph 5: Medicare Part D plan enrollment, by year, 2013-23
    • Medicare Advantage plans are more often selected by multicultural segments
    • Graph 6: Medicare enrollment, by race, 2021
    • Financially healthy consumers still favor Original Medicare
    • Graph 7: Medicare plan enrollment, by household income, 2023
    • Midwestern consumers are the most prominent users of Medicare Part D
    • Graph 8: Medicare part D through Medicare Advantage enrollment, 2023
    • Factors in selecting coverage
    • Total cost is the most common top priority, while choice of doctors is a popular consideration
    • Graph 9: most important factors in selecting Medicare coverage, 2023
    • Compressed budgets drive cost to top factor
    • Graph 10: #1 ranked factor in Medicare coverage selection, by year, 2022-23
    • Women are more likely to look into choice of doctors
    • Graph 11: top-three ranked factors in Medicare coverage, by gender, 2023
    • High earners prioritize doctors, while lower earners look to providers
    • Graph 12: top-three ranked factors in Medicare coverage, by financial situation, 2023
    • Medicare users looking for extensive coverage look to original Medicare plans
    • Graph 13: top-three ranked factors in Medicare coverage, by Medicare coverage, 2023
    • Sources of Medicare information
    • remains the top source of Medicare info
    • Graph 14: sources of Medicare information, 2023
    • Men tend to consume more peripheral sources
    • Graph 15: sources of Medicare information, by gender, 2023
    • Medicare Advantage enrollees consult more sources before making a decision
    • Graph 16: sources of Medicare information, by plan enrollment, 2023
    • Coverage changes
    • 6% of Medicare users look to change plans this year
    • Graph 17: changes in Medicare coverage, 2023
    • Medicare consumers increasingly look to tweak their plans
    • Graph 18: changes in Medicare coverage, by year, 2022-23
    • Pressing financial situations may mandate switching
    • Graph 19: planned change in Medicare plan, by financial situation, 2023
    • Enrollment behaviors
    • Just 39% of Medicare users researched their plan before enrollment
    • Graph 20: enrollment behaviors, 2023
    • Nearly half of Medicare users evaluate each year
    • Medicare Advantage enrollees are more active in research and review
    • Graph 21: enrollment behaviors, by coverage type, 2023
    • Medicare Advantage users will regularly evaluate coverage
    • Attitudes toward healthcare
    • Consumers are nervous about healthcare, and believe Medicare should cover all
    • Graph 22: attitudes toward Medicare and healthcare, 2023
    • Telehealth is quite popular, with nearly half of consumers preferring it
    • Graph 23: attitudes toward telehealth, 2023
    • Preventative care and technology are potential areas of improvement
    • Graph 24: attitudes toward preventative care and health technology, 2023
    • Younger generations feel financial impacts and strongly prefer Medicare for all
    • Graph 25: attitudes toward cost of healthcare, by generation, 2023
    • Two thirds of Millennials prefer telehealth to traditional healthcare
    • Graph 26: preference toward telehealth, by generation, 2023
    • Financially struggling consumers are less satisfied and desire expansion
    • Graph 27: satisfaction with healthcare coverage, by financial situation, 2023
  3. Competitive Strategies

    • Marketing and advertising
    • Direct mail volumes rebounded closer to 2020-21 levels
    • Graph 28: Medicare/Medicare Advantage monthly direct mail spend, by year, 2020-23
    • Medigap and Medicare Part D marketing spiked in 2023
    • Graph 29: cross-channel marketing spend, by Medicare plan type, 2020-23
    • Humana's win-back direct mail touted both savings and extra benefits
    • Medicare paid social marketing plummeted, while online video rose
    • Graph 30: Medicare/Medicare Advantage marketing spend, by channel, 2019-24
    • Online videos from Aetna mimicked a live chat experience
    • Opportunities
    • Win-back messaging can be especially effective due to re-evaluation
    • Spruce up the Medicare education process
  4. The Market

    • Market context
    • Market drivers
    • Inflation hovers above 3%
    • Graph 31: Consumer Price Index, 2018-24
    • Consumers approaching retirement have an eye on budgets
    • Graph 32: budget monitoring due to inflation, by age, 2024
    • Consumer confidence reached a nearly three-year high
    • Graph 33: Consumer Sentiment Index, 2018-24
    • Market size and forecast
    • The Medicare-aged population is projected to grow in the medium-term
    • Graph 34: share of 65+ population, by year, 2018-28
    • An aging population increases the portion of 65-84 year-old Medicare users
    • Graph 35: Medicare enrollment, by age, 2016-21
  5. Appendix

    • Market definition
    • Consumer research methodology
    • Generations
    • Abbreviations and terms

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