Medicare Plus Choice members rate plans

January 1, 2000

Pharmaceutical Representative

Medicare plans continue to rate high in overall satisfaction according to the results of a survey released by Caredata.com Inc., an Atlanta-based health care intelligence and Internet content provider.

Results of the 1999 Managed Medicare Member Survey show that, unlike commercial managed care plans where overall satisfaction has begun to decline, overall satisfaction for Medicare plans remains high.

The survey evaluated the satisfaction of Americans in Medicare HMOs, to which more than six million Americans now belong. Nearly 15,400 Medicare Plus Choice members participated in the survey, which was conducted from June through early October 1999 and evaluated 40 plans in 19 markets.

The results reveal that, despite some well-publicized pull-outs in some areas, satisfaction and re-enrollment intentions rose. When comparing 1999's results with 1998's, the survey found that 68.5% of respondents were highly satisfied in 1999, up from 66.9% in 1998, and 80.4% of those surveyed in 1999 were likely to re-enroll, whereas only 78.6% were willing to re-enroll according to 1998 findings.

Among all plans nationally, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in Boston and California's Kaiser Permanente in California had the highest overall satisfaction rating. Harvard was also rated highest on specific issues such as "quality of medical care" and "customer service," while Kaiser was rated highest on "value for the money."

Said Mark Kaiser, chairman and CEO of Caredata.com, "With more than 30 million people eligible to enroll in Medicare Health Plans, access to the type of information released [in the survey] can be an important factor in determining which plan to join." PR