Medicare beneficiaries given Choose With Care printed materials on Medicare coverage had more knowledge about Medicare when tested and reported more ease when choosing a plan, a study in Medical Care Research and Review found.
Choose With Care was developed by the study team and is a set of materials that defines quality, cost and benefit information for both employer-based and individual Medicare Advantage plans and integrates them in a way that fosters comparisons.
For the study, researchers created three groups and provided the first with Choose With Care materials, the second with materials formatted like the Medicare Personal Plan Finder but containing the same information as the Choose With Care packet and the third with materials and information from the Medicare Personal Plan Finder. Outcomes were based on four measures:
- Use of materials;
- Understanding and awareness of materials;
- Use of health plan quality information; and
- Health plan choice.
The researchers concluded that length of materials and earlier placement of information on quality, cost and benefits have a direct correlation with the effort beneficiaries put into learning about the plans and the amount of information they remember. To better educate beneficiaries about the plans, providers of Medicare education materials should simplify the information and put the most important topics in the early pages (Uhrig et al., Medical Care Research and Review, December 2006). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.