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More Seniors Considering Health Insurance Switch
Date:11/30/2009

MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study has found that 27% of Medicare Advantage and Supplemental Medicare insurance customers have a current intention to shop for and possibly switch their Medicare coverage. The figure is up from 20% in 2008. Over the past four years, the "intention to switch" measure has been a leading indicator of actual switching patterns. While not everyone with some intention to switch actually will leave their current insurer for another, this year's result has led researchers at Deft Research, LLC to forecast a 15% to 19% churn in the senior market - the highest level of consumer activity in the four year history of the study.

The study found that over the past year health insurers have improved senior loyalty and awareness of their positive attributes. However, contrary to past years, loyalty is not creating a "no-intention to switch" attitude. Despite feelings of loyalty, more seniors remain active consumers, staying on the lookout for insurance that suits them better.

For the second year, Kaiser Foundation Health Plans was found to have the most loyal customers. According to the Kaiser profile customers credit it with assuring quality of care, assuring health problems are caught early, and assuring coverage of the services and drugs desired.

Also for the second year, the study found that AARP's Supplemental Medicare insurance (Medsupp), offered through United Healthcare, has the most loyal customer base among Medsupp carriers. The study's profile of AARP indicates customers think it is better than its competition in reliability, access to providers nationwide, and convenience of service.

Other companies profiled include Aetna, Wellpoint-Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, the BCBS plans of Minnesota, Florida, and Michigan, Health Care Services Corporation (also a BCBS affiliate), Humana, Mutual of Omaha, United Healthcare, and Coventry.

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SOURCE Deft Research, LLC
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