When it comes to Medicare Advantage, couples stick together

Older couples typically enroll and disenroll in Medicare Advantage plans together, a study published in JAMA found. 

The study, published March 20, examined 1,812 couples enrolled in MA plans from 2010 to 2018. When one partner stayed in the same MA plan, the second partner also remained in the plan in 97% of couples.

When a beneficiary switched to another plan, their partner was 67 percentage points more likely to switch to the same plan than single beneficiaries. When one partner switched to fee-for-service Medicare from MA, their partner was 57.3 percentage points more likely to do the same. 

Policy initiatives to help Medicare beneficiaries make the best plan choice for them should take into account that couples typically choose plans together, the study's authors wrote. 

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. 

Read more here. 

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