Fewer than one-quarter of Medicare beneficiaries compared drug costs in 2013, missing $600 in savings

eHealth analyzes data on 450,000 beneficiaries

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — More than three-quarters of Medicare beneficiaries don't compare drug prices when shopping for their health plans, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by eHealth, found that 78% of respondents don't compare prices, but that the average beneficiary could have saved more than $600 this year on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs if he had. The study was based on an analysis of more than 450,000 unique visitor sessions during Medicare's 2013 Annual Enrollment Period.

Overall, during the enrollment period only 22% of shoppers entered the names and dosages of prescription drugs they were taking while comparison shopping for Medicare Advantage Drug Plans or standalone Medicare Prescription Drug Plans. According to a survey by the Department of Health and Human Services, 90% of Americans older than 65 had at least one prescription drug expense in 2010.


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