What Medicare Advantage Beneficiaries Want

Medicare Advantage enrollment continues to grow. As of 2022, there are 29 million participants, representing 45% of all Medicare beneficiaries. As part of our annual consumer benchmark survey of insured health plan members in the US, HealthSparq asked 101 Medicare Advantage (MA) beneficiaries about healthcare and what they want from their insurers. Let’s take a look at what they have to say.

They look to their plan for provider information–and they want more of it

More beneficiaries are doing their plan shopping online–and that digital focus translates to seeking care. Their health plan website or app is the first place MA enrollees go when looking for a doctor. But, more than half of them (55%) say they wish their plan offered more in-depth provider profiles in the provider search experience.

What can health plans add to their provider profiles to deliver what MA enrollees want?  There are a number of attributes they’d like to see:

  • 79% want to learn more about what patients say about providers through reviews
  • 61% want information on how the provider approaches patient care
  • 41% want information on health outcomes achieved by providers
  • 34% want to know if the provider offers telehealth

They want their plan’s help to find and select care

Almost two-thirds (62%) of MA beneficiaries have access to online transparency tools from their plan. Even though the plan website or app is the first place they go to look for providers, many need help finding care. Two-thirds (64%) of respondents are interested in having their health plan’s help through the process of finding care or a new provider. This presents a great opportunity for plans to add more value to members.

Care costs impact their experiences and their actions

Just like commercial health plan members, most MA beneficiaries (79%) wish they had more control over their healthcare costs. In fact, almost all respondents (92%) indicated they would like accurate information on how much they will pay out of pocket for services. The good news is that three-quarters of respondents (76%) trust their plan to provide accurate information about expected costs for medical services.

Access to cost information is important to ensure that beneficiaries get needed care and avoid higher care costs over time. Not knowing the cost of care directly impacts whether a person will seek care: one-third of MA beneficiaries (35%) have avoided getting care because they didn’t know the cost.

That’s not all. They are looking for help with more complex care planning too.

These survey results show that MA beneficiaries are engaging more with their plans through digital channels and have high expectations for support. They also have concerns about the cost of care and want more help to find care. Meeting these expectations can help plans increase member satisfaction and boost Star ratings by supporting healthcare navigation and building trust. Download our 2022 survey to learn more about consumer sentiment in healthcare overall.