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Changes in Medicare Advantage Reimbursement May Prompt Members to Shop for New Plans

Deft Research Releases Study showing state of the senior health care market

MINNEAPOLIS, March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Deft Research recently released the 2009 Senior Market Dynamics Study, which describes switching and shopping behavior in the senior health insurance market.

When premiums go up $15-30, the study found that 45-75% of the Medicare Advantage market will be mobilized to shop for different health insurance. The study found that at a $5 dollar premium increase 20% of MA members would ask their current insurer for alternatives to their current plan, and 17% would look at plans from different insurers. If faced with a change that made them want to switch their plan, 61% of MA members said they would stay in an MA type product, while 18% would choose to have original Medicare only and 21% would choose a MedSupp plan. This willingness to change plans is big news to MA providers, and understanding how hard they can push members before they will look for different insurance will be vital information in this market.

Over 1,500 seniors participated in this study conducted in February and March of 2009. The study asked questions that are responsive to a need to understand consumer behavior under changing premiums and benefits. Recipients of the report will also have the opportunity for a teleconference presentation, and receive follow up research and technical assistance, and monthly Executive Research Briefs.

Last month, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced lower than expected reimbursement for Medicare Advantage plans. "This change will have a dramatic effect how MA plans build and price their products," says Deft Research's Principal Rich Hamer, "Many seniors will see a reduction of benefits, an increase in premium or both. Deft's new Senior Market Dynamics Study looks at the reaction of consumers to these types of changes."

About Deft Research, LLC

Deft Research, LLC is a market research firm specializing in custom and syndicated research designed for those in the healthcare, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries. Deft Research works with management to define pertinent issues and conducts research that guides management and allows them to make better, well supported decisions.

For more information see or contact:

    Barb Strnad

SOURCE Deft Research, LLC
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