Original Medicare Tops Advantage

November 15, 2019

Results from a recent Insurance.com survey shows overall satisfaction appears greatest with original Medicare consumers.

Based on results from a recent survey by Insurance.com, those with original Medicare reported the highest satisfaction versus those with Medicare Advantage-offered by private insurers- as well as employer-based plans, Medicaid and individual insurance or Affordable Care Act plans.

Of the nearly 1,000 participants in survey, the Medicare consumers rated satisfaction with their health coverage on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest level.

Original Medicare results

  • Forty-three percent of people rated their original Medicare health insurance a 5.

  • Thirty-nine percent gave their original Medicare plan a 4.

  • Zero percent gave original Medicare a 1.

Medicare Advantage results:

  • Thirty-seven percent of respondents with Medicare Advantage rated their coverage a 5.

  • Thirty-five percent of those with Medicare Advantage rated their satisfaction a 4.

Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage:

Overall satisfaction appears greatest with original Medicare, when combining responses for 4 and 5 satisfaction levels:

  • Eighty-two percent of those with original Medicare are satisfied or very satisfied.

  • Seventy-two percent of respondents with Medicare Advantage indicate high satisfaction.

Related: Many Patients Plan Medicare Plan Switch

“The results show that people with original Medicare rate their insurance higher than any other,” says Les Masterson, managing editor for Insurance.com. “This comes as Medicare Advantage continues to grow in popularity. These results are a good reminder that people need to carefully think about what Medicare plan is best for them. Both are rated highly, but make sure you understand the pros and cons of each when making the decision.” 

Medicare Open Enrollment, which is when beneficiaries can change their Medicare plans, runs each year from October 15 to December 7.

Other satisfaction findings:

Employer-based insurance, which is how most people get health insurance, got similar grades as Medicare Advantage: 39% gave it a 5; 33% gave it a 4.

“Supporters of Medicare for all argue that people don’t like their current health insurance. However, we find 72% rank their employer-based insurance highly,” Masterson says.

Respondents with Medicaid indicated the widest variation in satisfaction:

  • 39% gave Medicaid a 5

  • 22% scored Medicaid a 4

  • 16% gave Medicaid a 3

  • 18% graded Medicaid a 2

  • 6% rated Medicaid a 1

Individual/Affordable Care Act plans ranked the worst. Only 14% of respondents with individual insurance gave their plans a top grade. The most common grade was a 2 (28%). Fourteen percent of people with an individual plan gave their coverage the lowest mark. Overall, 42% of people with an individual or ACA plan rated their plan poorly. That’s the worst rating by far.  

Find the full report on the health insurance satisfaction survey here.