Identifying Medicare Part D Lowest Cost Plan Proving A Challenge For Seniors

Health care costs are rising. In the middle of this the findings of a new study show that older adults were not able to identify the plan that would minimize their outgoings. Often they thought that they had chosen the plan with the lowest cost but this was not true. The study will be published in the August 2009 issue of Health Services Research. It is available online presently.

Just by choosing a different drug plan seniors could save several hundred dollars a year. There are so many choices that choosing the correct plan is a challenge. Choices should be limited and beneficiaries should be empowered to make cost effective and informed decisions about the prescription drug plan.

Hanock and colleagues conducted this research. The consumer behavior patterns of almost 200 healthy individuals who were over the age of 65 years was studied. It was found that with an increase in the number of plans available, the likelyhood of picking the plan with the lowest annual costs reduced.

Facts about the plans were also not well understood. Although older adults were not as good at choosing plans than younger ones, they were certain that the decisions were correct. The study also showed a number of other interesting findings. The study is titled “How Much Choice Is Too Much? The Case of the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit”

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