eHealth Research Offers Insights Ahead of Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period

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A lot can change in a year, and the best health plan for your needs last January will not necessarily be the best one next January. New original research from eHealth sheds light on the factors that drive many to reconsider their coverage options during Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), which begins on October 15 and runs through December 7, 2023.

Most intend to review their options this AEP

We surveyed over 5,000 Medicare beneficiaries and found that three-quarters (76%) intend to review their coverage options during the upcoming AEP.

Most beneficiaries hold onto their plans for years. Among Medicare Advantage enrollees, 50% have been with their current plan for two years or longer. Among Part D prescription drug plan enrollees, that figure is 64%.

Many beneficiaries saw changes in medical needs & finances in the past year

Changes in their medical needs and personal finances suggest many consumers may need to find a new plan better suited to their circumstances. Nearly half (47%) of beneficiaries told us they began seeing new doctors in the past year, while 41% began using at least one new prescription drug.

Four in 10 (41%) say their personal finances have changed in the past twelve months. Inflation continues to be a big concern for Medicare beneficiaries: 87% of respondents say they are worried about the impact of inflation on their health care costs.

eHealth customers are more informed, confident going in to AEP

By comparing responses from eHealth customers to Medicare beneficiaries in the general population, we found that those who use eHealth to review their options and enroll in a new plan are more informed about AEP and more confident they can find a plan suited to their needs:

  • 72% of eHealth customers know when Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period occurs, compared to 47% of Medicare beneficiaries in the general population.
  • 55% of eHealth customers feel “very confident” they can find the right Medicare plan for their needs, compared to 34% of Medicare beneficiaries in the general population.

Check out our full report for more consumer insights and more information about the survey.