New report shows that some premiums and deductibles were lower for 2019-and that members are using new tools to help them save.
During the 2019 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), analysis of the plan selections of people shopping for Medicare coverage through eHealth websites shows an average decline in Medicare Advantage premiums of 42%.
This is according to a new report by eHealth, Inc., a leading private online health insurance exchange where individuals, families and small businesses can compare and purchase health insurance products. The report also shows evidence of lower deductibles and out-of-pocket-limits among the plans selected by beneficiaries who purchased Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, or Medicare Supplement plans through websites operated by eHealth. However, the report also shows that premium costs among beneficiaries purchasing Medicare Supplement products rose by an average 8%.
In addition, the report finds that use of online transparency tools that enable beneficiaries to search for plans accepted by their preferred medical providers and covering their prescription drugs dramatically increased during the AEP for 2019 coverage.
“Managed care executives are essential health plan leaders who supervise the operations of healthcare systems designed to deliver medical services in ways that improve quality and reduce costs,” says Chris Hakim, vice president and general manager of Medicare at eHealth. “With the rapid movement to value-based care, the executives that truly partner with patients in the management of their health will drive the best results. Of note is that Medicare Advantage is growing rapidly and that is connecting Medicare beneficiaries to tools to help them make better health choices in terms of disease management and in choosing cost-effective services with better health outcomes.”
Other report findings include:
Online transparency tools are becoming more powerful and easier to use, according to Hakim.
“The fact that more Medicare eligible people are buying plans online and using drug transparency tools underscore that when user-friendly technology tools are made available, seniors are increasingly inclined to use them,” says Hakim. “When coupled with the fact that there are 10,000 people becoming Medicare eligible each day-and that ‘younger’ seniors are more tech savvy-it opens the door for more effective, less-expensive communications with Medicare beneficiaries. The tools will only get better as companies are investing more and more in technology.”