Psychometric Evaluation of the Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Disenrollment Reasons Survey

Published in: Health Services Research, Volume 54, Issue 4, pages 930–939 (August 2019). doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.13160

Posted on on April 09, 2021

by Steven C. Martino, Marc N. Elliott, Alan M. Zaslavsky, Nathan Orr, Andy Bogart, Feifei Ye, Cheryl L. Damberg


To develop and assess the reliability and validity of composite measures of reasons for disenrollment from Medicare Advantage (MA) and prescription drug plans (PDPs).

Data Source

Medicare beneficiaries who responded to the Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Disenrollment Reasons Survey.

Study Design

Separate multilevel factor analyses of MA and PDP data suggested groupings of survey items to form composite measures, for which internal consistency and interunit reliability were estimated. The association of each composite with an overall plan rating was examined to evaluate criterion validity.

Principal Findings

Five composites were identified: financial reasons for disenrollment; problems with prescription drug benefits and coverage; problems getting information and help from the plan; problems getting needed care, coverage, and cost information; and problems with coverage of doctors and hospitals. Beneficiary-level internal consistency reliability exceeded 0.70 for all but one composite (financial reasons); plan-level internal consistency reliability exceeded 0.80 for all composites; average interunit reliability for plans with ≥30 survey completes exceeded 0.75 for 3 of 5 composites. As expected, greater endorsement of reasons for disenrollment was associated with lower overall plan ratings.


The Disenrollment Reasons Survey provides a reliable and valid assessment of beneficiaries' reasons for leaving their plans. Multiple reasons for disenrollment may indicate especially poor experiences.

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