BMA Responds to eHealth Survey Showing Satisfaction from 9 in 10 Medicare Advantage Beneficiaries
Survey highlights importance of Medicare Advantage’s cost protections for seniors, while finding negligible instances of prior authorization denials for Medicare-covered services
Washington, D.C. – Better Medicare Alliance, the leading research and advocacy group supporting Medicare Advantage, respond to eHealth’s newly released “Spotlight on Medicare Advantage” survey of more than 2,800 Medicare Advantage enrollees.
According to eHealth’s own summary of the survey, data show that “a striking majority of Medicare Advantage enrollees are satisfied with their plans” and that “many find in it precisely the affordable, comprehensive, all-in-one coverage they value and need.”
“This expansive survey of more than 2,800 Medicare Advantage enrollees confirms what we already know: Medicare Advantage remains highly popular among the audience that matters most – beneficiaries – despite misleading attacks from outside groups that seek to undercut the care and coverage that more than 28 million Americans rely on,” said Mary Beth Donahue, President and CEO of the Better Medicare Alliance. “eHealth’s data comports with our own polling, showing satisfaction from 9 in 10 Medicare Advantage enrollees while demonstrating that seniors value its affordability and see it as a positive example of public-private partnership.”
Donahue continued, “Further, this survey reaffirms that, overwhelmingly, prior authorization is applied appropriately and selectively as a clinical tool to coordinate care for beneficiaries. Nearly 9 in 10 beneficiaries did not recall instances of a prior authorization denial while, among the small minority that did, many were for services not typically covered by Medicare. We are pleased to see this third-party research added to the wealth of evidence showing Medicare Advantage’s value to the diverse communities it serves.”
Survey data showed that:
- About 9 in 10 Medicare Advantage enrollees expressed satisfaction with their coverage, including 63% who are “very satisfied.”
- According to the survey results, “Most of those previously enrolled in other forms of Medicare insurance still prefer Medicare Advantage.”
- 61% of those who were previously enrolled in other forms of Medicare insurance say they are more satisfied with their Medicare Advantage plan, while 24% say they are equally satisfied.
- Prior-authorization denials were extremely rare in Medicare Advantage. A combined 87% of respondents had not experienced a prior authorization denial or were unsure. Of those who had experienced a prior authorization denial, data show that “many … were declined for things like dental and vision care, which aren’t typically covered by Medicare.”
- This follows June 2021 polling commissioned by Tivity Health which shows that a plurality of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries had never experienced a prior authorization and, among the minority who had, 66% said it imposes “no burden.”
- Affordability is key for Medicare Advantage beneficiaries: 48% say they could not afford to pay anything at all in monthly premiums for similar coverage if Medicare Advantage wasn’t available to them.
- This follows BMA-commissioned research showing that Medicare Advantage beneficiaries save nearly $2,000 per year on total health expenditures compared to FFS Medicare.
- Medicare Advantage also serves a higher proportion of low-income beneficiaries. 52.7% of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries live below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, compared to 38.3% in FFS Medicare.
- Kaiser Family Foundation reports that, for 2022, 98% of beneficiaries have access to a $0 premium MA-PD plan and that, in 2021, 65% of those enrolled in a MA-PD plan had a $0 premium (aside from the Part B premium).
- According to eHealth, “Few Medicare Advantage enrollees are calling for more government regulation.”
- 46% say government regulation of Medicare Advantage is fine as it is or should be reduced. Only 13% say it should be increased.
Read the full eHealth survey report here.