POLL: Medicare Advantage Satisfaction Hits New High Amid COVID-19 Crisis
Beneficiaries report near-universal satisfaction with Medicare Advantage’s coverage, provider networks, and COVID-19 response while 93% say a candidate’s support for MA is important to their vote.
Washington, D.C. – As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, a new Morning Consult poll of more than 1,200 seniors on Medicare commissioned by Better Medicare Alliance shows near-universal satisfaction with Medicare Advantage’s coverage (98%), provider networks (97%), and handling of the current health crisis (98%).
95% of survey respondents agreed it is important for seniors to have coverage options aside from Traditional Medicare, and 93% reported that a candidate’s support for Medicare Advantage is important to their vote. Three quarters (77%) of seniors on Medicare Advantage strongly oppose the federal government reducing the amount of money paid to Medicare Advantage, even if such cuts are billed as necessary to lower costs to taxpayers or reduce the national debt.
The poll, conducted from December 11-17, 2020 also gauged Medicare Advantage beneficiaries’ views about the Medicare enrollment process, supplemental benefits, Star Ratings, and telehealth usage and favorability. Findings showed that seniors on Medicare Advantage are most likely to have personally used vision (64%), dental (48%), telehealth (43%) and wellness (40%) coverage.
“This poll, fielded more than nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, shows that when crisis struck, Medicare Advantage was ready. In a global health care emergency that has laid bare deep, persisting challenges in health care, we saw beneficiaries’ satisfaction with Medicare Advantage reach new heights,” said Allyson Y. Schwartz, President and CEO of the Better Medicare Alliance. “Overall, 98% of respondents are satisfied with their Medicare Advantage coverage – an increase from 94% in the fall of 2019. For nonwhite beneficiaries, that number rises to 99%. What’s more, 97% of beneficiaries are satisfied with their network of doctors, hospitals, and specialists and 98% of respondents specifically indicated satisfaction with their health plan’s response to COVID-19.”
Schwartz continued, “The results of this poll depict a rapidly growing beneficiary population that is highly pleased with their health coverage and ready to take action to ensure it is protected. 93% of beneficiaries said a candidate’s support of Medicare Advantage is important to their vote and 77% of beneficiaries ‘strongly oppose’ any cuts to Medicare Advantage. With these numbers in hand, Better Medicare Alliance and our grassroots beneficiary advocates will work to ensure lawmakers know that standing up for Medicare Advantage is good politics and good policy.”
Additional Poll Results:
- Coverage choices: A strong majority (95%) of seniors on Medicare believe it is important to have a choice of plans other than Traditional Medicare, including 64% who believe it is very important. The total percentage of seniors who believe it is important to have a choice of plans other than Traditional Medicare has risen 7% since October 2019.
- Considerations for selecting a Medicare Advantage plan: Seniors on Medicare Advantage were most likely to consider their network of doctors, hospitals and specialists (96%), lower monthly premiums (94%), and lower co-pays for appointments and services (95%) when they selected a Medicare Advantage plan.
- Telehealth usage and favorability: The percentage of seniors who have used telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic rose from 24% in May 2020 to 40% in December 2020. Among those who have used telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic, a strong majority had a favorable experience (91%).
- Star Ratings: Among seniors on Medicare Advantage, over half (57%) are not familiar with the ‘Star Ratings’ system used by the government to grade Medicare Advantage plans on quality. Furthermore, two in three (67%) seniors on Medicare Advantage familiar with the ‘Star Ratings’ system did not refer to it when selecting a Medicare Advantage plan.
- Medicare Advantage vs. Traditional Medicare: Four in five (79%) seniors on Medicare say they are aware of the differences between Traditional Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Medigap coverage.
- Enrollment experiences: Two thirds (67%) of seniors on Medicare felt that they had enough information about Medicare Advantage when they first enrolled in Medicare, an 11% increase from 2019. Still, 30% of seniors would have liked more information about the option of Medicare Advantage.