Manacled Competition: Limiting Health Insurance Choices

Award Year:
Yaniv Hanoch, Thomas Rice
Medicare, Managed Care
With all the new options now available to Medicare recipients, both seniors and policymakers are asking a relatively simple question: is "more" the same as "better"? Are the many choices producing better health care decisions, or do they so confound seniors that they are more likely to make bad decisions that hurt their quality of care? Co-investigators Thomas H. Rice, Ph.D. and Yaniv Hanoch, Ph.D. are studying the decision process employed by the elderly as they grapple with the multitude of options available under the new Medicare prescription drug benefit and managed care plans. Manacled Competition: Limiting Health Insurance Choices for the Elderly is an effort to understand whether more choice will boost enrollment in Medicare drug plans and managed care, or whether better choices are made when there are fewer options available. Drs. Rice and Hanoch consider how age-related cognitive changes, number of choices, and different types of information affect decision-making. Their work should guide efforts aimed at helping seniors make better use of their coverage options under Medicare.