Healthcare marketing professionals will be interested in a new initiative by the DMN3 Institute. It entails research on issues important to healthcare organizations that market consumer products or services. The first publication: What’s Important to Seniors in Choosing their Medicare Coverage is part of a new DMN3 Institute Medicare Research Publication Series.
This Medicare research publication contains the responses of a panel of 655 people between the ages of 64 – 69. The research and publication are the work of Robert M. Brecht, Ph.D., Director of Research & Education of the DMN3 Institute. You may recognize that name as this blog’s author as well.
The DMN3 Institute survey was conducted from April 27 to May 2, 2012. Survey methodology along with respondent demographics is available from the DMN3 Institute.
The survey asked panel members:
What is the single most important reason for selecting your Medicare Coverage?
The 655 respondents were given a list of factors thought to be important to seniors in choosing their Medicare coverage option.
As has been noted in other studies; “How much the coverage will cost” was the reason selected most often. Over 40 percent of respondents chose it as the most important factor in their selection of Medicare coverage.
The factor that got the second most responses; “Keeping my own doctors” was picked by 27 percent of respondents.
To provide greater insight, panel members were asked to rank order (from most important to least important on a 5 point scale) a list of factors that excluded “costs.” The results for this question can be seen in the chart below.
With “cost” removed from consideration, the most important factor was “I can keep my own doctors” with 47 percent of the respondents ranking it as number 1 in importance and another 16 percent ranking it as number 2 in importance . “ Covers my medicines” was ranked as the second most important reason (when cost was removed as a factor) with almost 19 percent of the respondents ranking it as the most important factor and another 34 percent ranking it as the second most important factor.
Medicare plans that allow beneficiaries to see their own physicians cost more than plans that limit the choice of doctors. For beneficiaries in employer-sponsored Medicare group plans and for those who can readily afford Medicare Medigap individual plans, keeping their own doctors is not an issue (unless their doctors refuse Medicare insurance). For other beneficiaries, their Medicare coverage selection is often a choice of balancing “costs” versus “keeping their own doctors”.
What’s Important to Seniors in Choosing their Medicare Coverage and future reports in this series can be downloaded here.
This blog is about all types of marketing issues. Healthcare marketing is part of that mix. It is also one of a number of key foci of the DMN3 Institute. The Institute considers it important enough to create a new blog on healthcare marketing that will be initiated in the coming days.
Because of my background in healthcare communications and marketing, I will be authoring the healthcare marketing blog as well. I will let you know when we kick it off.
Happy Fourth of July to all of you.