With Medicare enrollment approaching this October, many Americans aged 65 and older are already beginning to think about their plan for the year ahead. Given the impact that this choice will have on individuals’ healthcare for the 12 months that follow, it’s not a decision to take lightly. So how are Medicare users feeling about their coverage in this highly competitive marketplace, and what factors are they considering for 2023? CivicScience dove into the data to find out. 

As it stands, recent survey results indicate that a total of 23% of current U.S. Medicare recipients (aged 65+) are likely not keeping their current plan – 11% are already shopping or intend to shop for a new Medicare plan in the coming months and 12% are still considering it (n=17,999).

Why Switch? 

With such a sizable percentage of respondents planning or considering a switch in their plans, it begs the question, “But why?” 

Fortunately, the data offers some clear insight on this. The strongest reason for switching plans – making up 31% of Medicare recipients who are shopping for or are certain they intend to change plans – is that their current plan is too expensive. After that, 20% want to increase the doctors and hospitals available to them, while 15% say a drug they need isn’t covered, 13% had poor customer service, and 8% had a recent change in health.  

Notably, 34% of these respondents report an intention to shop for a new Medicare plan because of “some other reason,” a response that leaves much to be interpreted.  

Who’s planning to change plans? 

Of respondents, women are more likely to be switching than men, as are those in the Midwest and South.  

But the impact of financial strain – and impending economic uncertainty – cannot be overlooked. As the data show, lower income earners and those financially worse off as a result of the pandemic are more likely to switch plans this year.  

So as Medicare enrollment season comes clearly into view, expect some considerable shifts among women and those facing financial hardship, as they seek affordable plans that continue to meet their healthcare needs.