Research Outline

Medicare Pain Points


To understand some of the biggest pain points for people that are signing up for medicare plans.

Early Findings

  • Medicare is considered complicated for many of the estimated 10,000 people who sign up every day.
  • The Medicare Rights Center reports that confusion about enrollment is the second most common reason people call them for help (coverage denials is No. 1).
  • In a recent survey of adults 50 and older by the Nationwide Retirement Institute, 72% of respondents said they wished they better understood Medicare coverage.
  • Just like with most employer health plans, Medicare has a fall open enrollment period, which runs from October 15 to December 7. But when someone is signing up for the first time, this isn’t when you do it. If someone is already collecting Social Security when they turn 65, they will likely be automatically enrolled in Medicare. If they aren’t, they need to make it happen.
  • Medicare is a government program, so Medicare’s steep costs may blindside a person. In fact, in the Nationwide Retirement Institute survey more than half of respondents weren’t aware that Original Medicare isn’t free.
  • "If you don’t sign up for Medicare when first eligible and don’t have qualifying coverage elsewhere, you’ll pay life-long penalties for enrolling late", says Danielle Roberts, co-founder of insurance firm Boomer Benefits in Fort Worth, Texas.
  • There are complex rules that govern the transition to Medicare that many people don't know about or find difficult to navigate and currently "there isn’t much of an early warning system to alert people close to retirement age of the pitfalls."
  • Philip Moeller — author of a popular Medicare book, “Get What’s Yours for Medicare: Maximize Your Coverage, Minimize Your Costs,” and a blogger on Medicare for the “PBS NewsHour” website — knows well about the program’s fine print that has ensnared many in what he dubs the “no one told me” syndrome.
  • This source from PBS Newshour details many personal stories about difficulties and problems encountered by real people.
  • Nearly six in 10 seniors said they would consider switching their current Medicare Advantage plan in the near future. Low out-of-pocket costs, prescription drug coverage and in-network access to providers were cited as primary factors that could influence a plan change.
  • Today's seniors are increasingly tech savvy, expect more from Medicare plans and in 2019 are more likely to switch their Medicare Advantage plans, finds a new survey from Welltok.