DALLAS, Sept. 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Health plans may not be meeting Medicare beneficiaries’ communication preferences according to a survey of 781 Medicare Advantage or Supplemental members.  Results show that 47 percent of all respondents prefer digital communication with their plan compared to 34 percent actually receiving communication digitally. The survey results revealed a higher preference of digital communication by younger aged beneficiaries:

  • Of those 65-70 years old, 38 percent responded they receive digital communication from their plan, while 50 percent preferred it;
  • Of those 71-75 years old, 34 percent responded they receive digital communication from their plan, compared to 47 percent who preferred it; and
  • Of those aged 76-plus, 30 percent responded they received digital communication from their plan, with 43 percent preferring it.

The survey was designed and analyzed by HealthMine, a Health Action as a Service company, and fielded by Survey Sampling International.

The results do not negate the fact that there is still a demand for telephonic (voice) and regular mail as communication methods, yet that demand is shrinking. Only 18 percent of all respondents prefer to receive communication via regular mail, yet 24 percent do; 42 percent said they receive health plan communication via phone, versus 35 percent who say that phone is their preferred method of communication.

In addition, respondents were asked what their plan communicates with them about most. The top answers by almost half the respondents were that they received communication about “health screenings” and “actions on how to improve health.”

Questions from the Survey:
Q: What is your actual method of communication with your Medicare plan vs. your preferred method of communication with your Medicare plan?

Actual Preferred
65-70 38% 50%
71-75 34% 47%
76+ 30% 43%
All respondents 34% 47%
Actual Preferred
65-70 37% 31%
71-75 43% 37%
76+ 47% 39%
All respondents 42% 35%
Actual Preferred
65-70 25% 19%
71-75 23% 16%
76+ 23% 18%
All respondents 24% 18%

Q:  What does your plan communicate with you about the most?

Recommended health screenings 49%
Actions to improve health 47%
Fees after receiving services 29%
My chronic condition 21%
Health risks 19%
My state of health 16%
How to lower health costs 11%
Info collected from digital health tools 4%

According to Bryce Williams, president and CEO of HealthMine, “With more than 10,000 individuals aging into Medicare daily, the growth trend for digital communication is here to stay. Our survey shows that plans are not quite keeping pace with the digital demand.  It is clearly important that Medicare Advantage plans meet beneficiaries on their terms and cater to preferences.  Through better communications, plan members can be incented to take health actions that improve their clinical outcomes. However, plan executives are making headway in reaching members to take the right actions – it is excellent that top communications to members are ‘recommended health screenings,’ and ‘actions to improve health’.”

About the Survey
The HealthMine Medicare Survey queried 781 insured ages 65+ with a chronic condition who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage and/or Supplemental plan. The survey was fielded by Survey Sampling International (SSI) in June/July 2018. Data were collected via an opt-in panel. The margin of error was three percent (3%). Survey Sampling International (SSI) has been the Worldwide Leader in Survey Sampling and Data Collection Solutions, across every mode, for more than forty years.

About HealthMine
HealthMine is a Health Action as a Service company.  Since 1992, health plans have leveraged our services to target and engage individuals to take health actions that improve their clinical outcomes while decreasing total cost of care and increasing health plan revenue.  HealthMine is on the web at www.healthmine.com.

SOURCE HealthMine

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