Identifying Barriers to Medicare Choices 

Every year, millions of Americans become eligible for Medicare. This transition requires a variety of complicated decisions that will have long-term impacts on the quality and cost of care that someone receives in the future. Because of confusing bureaucratic systems and opaque timelines, many Americans end up with sub-standard care that doesn’t match their needs.

For the SCAN Foundation, PPL worked closely with Health Management Associates to investigate how particularly vulnerable Medicare recipients could be better supported in their decision-making when choosing their coverage. The project sought to unpack the current Medicare choice architecture, and identify subgroups that struggled to navigate it. We focused specifically on folks who are dual-eligible for Medicaid and Medicare, or who are low income but not Medicaid eligible.

Ultimately, we identified five intersecting attributes that impact someone's ability to make informed and successful decisions about their coverage plan. In addition to identifying these barriers, we also designed a map illustrating the key choices and common problems people face when navigating these choices. 

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