Improving Consumer Understanding of Medicare Advantage


In December 2017, Better Medicare Alliance (BMA) brought together a group of approximately
50 thought leaders—including beneficiary advocates, researchers, health plans, practitioners,
community partners, and policymakers—with an overarching objective of developing
recommendations for improving consumers’ understanding of Medicare coverage options,
particularly Medicare Advantage. To accomplish this objective, the dialogue focused on three
topic areas: (1) assessing the Medicare population’s educational needs; (2) discussing the
breadth of currently available educational resources on Medicare coverage options and the gaps
therein; and (3) developing recommendations for enhancing education and decision-making
tools for Medicare beneficiaries. Overall, stakeholders agreed that educational materials must be
improved to engage and assist Medicare beneficiaries in making optimal coverage decisions.

This report summarizes key discussion points from the convening, including:

• Background on Medicare coverage options and the evolution of the program over time;
• Current approaches to disseminating Medicare coverage information to beneficiaries;
• Stakeholders’ discussion of existing materials and approaches to beneficiary outreach and
education on Medicare coverage;
• Recommendations for improving beneficiary education and decision-making tools; and
• Concluding comments regarding next steps.