The Effect of Price on Health Plan Choices of Retirees

What is the price sensitivity and related health plan choices of Medicare-eligible retirees? Building on previous HCFO-funded research and analyzing data from a large western employer, the researcher analyzed the following: 1) What is the effect of out-of-pocket premiums on the health plan choices of Medicare-eligible retirees? 2) How price-sensitive are early retirees (under 65)? and 3) How responsive are retirees to financial incentives for declining coverage? The objective of this study was to educate decision makers who develop Medicare reforms by providing credible estimates of the price sensitivity of Medicare beneficiaries. In addition, the researcher sought to inform policymakers about how retirees respond to financial incentives and the impact this response might have on how insurance costs are allocated.