Seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage insurance plans could save 19 percent annually on health care spending by switching to a lower-cost Medicare Advantage alternative offered in their area, an AHRQ study found.
More than 16 million Americans are covered by Medicare Advantage plans. For each year that enrollees remained in their Medicare Advantage plans, researchers found, premium and out-of-pocket costs increased by roughly $50. Beneficiaries who remained in their plans for six or more years were most at risk of spending higher amounts, paying $786 more each year than they would have spent in the lowest-cost plan available to them.
The beneficiaries should regularly compare plans.
Medicare Advantage beneficiaries could reduce their exposure to healthcare spending by switching to plans with lower premiums.
Changes to the Medicare choice environment that increase the salience of premiums or encourage beneficiaries to compare plans could reduce passive re-enrollment and stimulate a more robust competitive environment for insurers.