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Medicare Choices May Overwhelm Seniors

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Medicare choices may be too much of a good thing for some recipients. A new study finds a bewildering range of choices in one popular Medicare program that may leave some seniors wanting less instead of more.
The study, published in the journal Health Affairs, says the many managed-care plans offered by the Medicare Advantage program -- an alternative to traditional Medicare -- are confusing to some senior citizens. Elderly patients, especially those with reduced cognitive abilities, may be overwhelmed by the complicated insurance options.
Ironically, those with impaired cognition may benefit most from the more generous coverage often provided by Medicare Advantage plans.
The authors found that when the number of available plan options was below 15, enrollment in Medicare Advantage went up. When the number passed 30, enrollment tended to decline.
Now the researchers are calling for more streamlined and simplified choices so more patients can take benefit from Medicare Advantage.  
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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