Analysts to examine why seniors enroll in MA-PD plans

February 1, 2006

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (Medpac) is conducting a survey to find out what factors have prompted Medicare beneficiaries to join or not join a Medicare drug plan. The aim is to learn more about what information and educational strategies are most useful in choosing a specific plan—including what may influence the selection of a stand-alone prescription drug plan (PDP) or a Medicare Advantage plan (MA-PD).

WASHINGTON, D.C.-The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (Medpac) is conducting a survey to find out what factors have prompted Medicare beneficiaries to join or not join a Medicare drug plan. The aim is to learn more about what information and educational strategies are most useful in choosing a specific plan-including what may influence the selection of a stand-alone prescription drug plan (PDP) or a Medicare Advantage plan (MA-PD).

Medpac staffers plan to conduct a national telephone survey this spring to assess how well seniors are aware of the drug benefit, what are their sources of information and whether the Medicare phone information system and online Plan Finder program are useful.

This survey will be supplemented by longer interviews with staffers at state assistance programs, senior centers and beneficiary advocacy organizations about their experience educating dual eligibles and others with special needs about their drug coverage options. Medpac also plans to form focus groups of seniors who have and have not yet enrolled in plans. The groups will cover areas of both high-and low-MA-PD penetration. Dual eligibles also will be included.