Disenrollment Information and Medicare Plan Choice

Is More Information Better?

Published in: Health Care Financing Review, v. 28, no. 3, Spring 2007, p. 47-59

Posted on RAND.org on April 01, 2007

by Mark Spranca, Marc N. Elliott, Rebecca Shaw, David E. Kanouse

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To help Medicare beneficiaries and their intermediaries select the best health plan, CMS publicly reports comparative plan information. Using a laboratory version of Medicare Health Plan Compare that involved a simulated plan choice by 359 Medicare intermediaries, the authors experimentally investigated plan recommendations with and without disenrollment information and time constraints for viewing materials. Results indicated that the presence of disenrollment information reduced time spent on other measures of plan performance. It also reduced decision quality for less educated intermediaries. Designers and sponsors of consumer-oriented materials should recognize that more information is not always better.

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