More than 85 percent of the nearly 650,000 Medicare TV ad airings over a nine-week stretch during the 2023 open enrollment period were for Medicare Advantage, according to a Sept. 20 report from KFF.
KFF analyzed ad data compiled by the Wesleyan Media Project that was obtained from Vivvix, a data analytics and consulting firm, and coded by the Wesleyan Media Project in collaboration with KFF, according to the report. The data set included all English-language TV ads that aired across national and local markets on broadcast television or national cable between Oct. 1 and Dec. 7, 2022.
Five things to know:
1. The vast majority of Medicare Advantage ads boasted low costs and extra benefits, but only 4 percent mentioned quality star ratings.
2. There were more than 9,500 Medicare TV ad airings per day over the nine-week period. Most aired on local media markets. Most ads were sponsored by health insurers, but about 20 percent were sponsored by brokers or other third-party entities, including marketing firms.
3. More than a quarter of Medicare Advantage ads showed images of a government-issued Medicare card, and 16 percent asked viewers to call a number other than the official 1-800-Medicare hotline. These are practices that CMS has flagged as potentially misleading.
4. Brokers and other third-party entities used celebrity endorsements to promote Medicare Advantage 55 percent of the time, compared to 3 percent of airings sponsored by insurers.
5. CMS has put new policies in place to crack down on deceptive Medicare advantage TV advertising.