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Medicare Advantage Renewal Rates: J.D. Power Finds Trust, Problem Resolution Have Biggest Impact

Insurance Forums Staff

With the eldest members of the Boomer generation now well into their 70s and an estimated 10,000 Americans turning 65 each day, Medicare Advantage plans are the fastest-growing segment of the health insurance market, with more plans available than ever before. According to the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Medicare Advantage Study, the biggest factors influencing retention in this fast-moving, highly competitive market are trust and the ability to resolve problems or complaints.

“As the number of Medicare Advantage plan options continues to grow, competition for new members and retention are becoming increasingly critical,” said Christopher Lis, managing director, global healthcare intelligence at J.D. Power. “Additionally, in 2023, member experience and satisfaction are prominent drivers of CMS Star Ratings. Complementing these trends, J.D. Power research demonstrates that consumers are becoming more sophisticated about researching their healthcare options. Consumer-facing brand attributes like trust, reputation, reviews and customer ratings have become key drivers of satisfaction and customer loyalty. Most Medicare Advantage plans are performing well on the basics, yet there are opportunities for improvement in the areas of ease of finding care, care coordination and innovation around digital self-service.”

Following are some of the key findings of the 2023 study:

  • Overall satisfaction with Medicare Advantage plans is generally good: Overall customer satisfaction with Medicare Advantage plans is 652 (on a 1,000-point scale), which is squarely in the good-to-great range of the newly redesigned U.S. Medicare Advantage Study index model. Plans perform highest on trust, ease of doing business and meeting member product/coverage needs.
  • Trust and problem resolution hold keys to customer loyalty: Level of trust and resolving problems or complaints are the most highly correlated factors associated with members renewing their health plan. Satisfaction with trust increases 353 points among those likely to renew with their health plan compared with those who are unlikely to renew. Similarly, satisfaction with problem resolution increases 351 points among those likely to renew.
  • Ease of finding care and digital tools now biggest pain points: Just 31% of Medicare Advantage plan members say their plan made it easy for them to find care and just 34% say they used two or more digital tools offered by their plan. Overall customer satisfaction scores are 158 points higher, on average, when members say it is easy to find care and 62 points higher, on average, when members use two or more digital tools.
  • Health plan ratings and customer reviews spur customer satisfaction: The most effective sources of information about Medicare Advantage plans are health plan ratings, information received directly from the plan itself and recommendations from friends, relatives and co-workers.

Study Rankings

California: SCAN Health Plan ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction with Medicare Advantage plans in California, with a score of 708. Humana (692) ranks second and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan (680) ranks third.

Florida: Humana ranks highest in overall satisfaction with Medicare Advantage plans in Florida, with a score of 670. UnitedHealthcare (653) ranks second and Aetna (647) ranks third.

New York: Excellus BlueCross BlueShield ranks highest in overall satisfaction with Medicare Advantage plans in New York, with a score of 700. Healthfirst (680) ranks second and Humana (651) ranks third.

Pennsylvania: UPMC For Life ranks highest in overall satisfaction with Medicare Advantage plans in Pennsylvania, with a score of 709. Highmark (706) ranks second and Aetna (670) ranks third.

Texas: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas ranks highest in overall satisfaction with Medicare Advantage plans in Texas, with a score of 676. Cigna Health (668) ranks second and Humana (648) ranks third.

The U.S. Medicare Advantage Study was redesigned for 2023. The study, now in its ninth year, measures member satisfaction with Medicare Advantage plans—also known as Medicare Part C or Part D—based on eight factors (in order of importance): level of trust; able to get health services how/when I want; helping to save me time or money; product/coverage offerings meet my needs; ease of doing business; people— representatives, call center agents; resolving problems or complaints; and digital channels. 
The 2023 U.S. Medicare Advantage Study is based on the responses of 5,887 members of Medicare Advantage plans in five market-based U.S. regions: California, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. It was fielded from January through June 2023.

For more information about the U.S. Medicare Advantage Study, visit https://www.jdpower.com/business/resource/us-medicare-advantage-study.

See the online press release with charts displaying rankings for all five states at http://www.jdpower.com/pr-id/2023098.




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