Most Medicare Advantage members don't know how CMS rates their plan and 7 other survey findings

A recent survey highlights Medicare Advantage beneficiaries' perceptions of their coverage and whether they are familiar with CMS' star rating system.

The 2018 survey, conducted by health action as a service company HealthMine, involved 781 Medicare Advantage beneficiaries with at least one chronic condition.

Eight survey findings:

1. Most beneficiaries said their plan does not know when their personal health is improving or getting worse. Only 16 percent of respondents said their plan does know these things.

2. Nearly half of respondents (46 percent) said their plan never communicates with them about their chronic condition, and another 19 percent said their plan only communicates with them once annually.

3. Although 47 percent of respondents said they prefer digital communication with their plan, only 34 percent said they actually receive communication digitally.

4. Most respondents (60 percent) said their plan does not incentivize them to make efforts to improve or better manage their health (e.g. annual physician visit), and 75 percent said that incentives that are provided are not personalized.

5. Rather, the recommendations, such as seasonal flu shots (39 percent) and age and gender recommendations (33 percent), are directed at a general audience. At the same time, only 15 percent of respondents said they received recommendations concerning their chronic condition.

6. The study also found beneficiaries often don't follow the recommendations. Only 14 percent of beneficiaries always follow recommendations from their health plans, while 54 percent sometimes do and 32 percent said they never do.

7. Forty-six percent of respondents said they did not know if their plan offers telehealth, while 37 percent said their plan does not offer online and phone-based telehealth services.

8. Only 22 percent of respondents said they were familiar with CMS' star rating system, which measures a plan's quality and performance. Of that 22 percent, 51 percent used the quality grading system to help them choose a plan. Most of the respondents who were not familiar with the system said they would use the ratings once they had all the information.

Read more about the survey results here.

Editor's note: This article was updated Jan. 8 at 2:05 p.m. CT.


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