March 15, 2018

Improving Consumer Understanding of Medicare Advantage


In December 2017, Better Medicare Alliance (BMA) brought together a group of approximately

50 thought leaders—including beneficiary advocates, researchers, health plans, practitioners,

community partners, and policymakers—with an overarching objective of developing

recommendations for improving consumers’ understanding of Medicare coverage options,

particularly Medicare Advantage. To accomplish this objective, the dialogue focused on three

topic areas: (1) assessing the Medicare population’s educational needs; (2) discussing the

breadth of currently available educational resources on Medicare coverage options and the gaps

therein; and (3) developing recommendations for enhancing education and decision-making

tools for Medicare beneficiaries. Overall, stakeholders agreed that educational materials must be

improved to engage and assist Medicare beneficiaries in making optimal coverage decisions.

This report summarizes key discussion points from the convening, including:

• Background on Medicare coverage options and the evolution of the program over time;

• Current approaches to disseminating Medicare coverage information to beneficiaries;

• Stakeholders’ discussion of existing materials and approaches to beneficiary outreach and

education on Medicare coverage;

• Recommendations for improving beneficiary education and decision-making tools; and

• Concluding comments regarding next steps.

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