OEP Winners Credit Year-Round Outreach, Omnichannel Marketing

Medicare Advantage enrollment grew just 1% during the 2021 Open Enrollment Period (OEP) that ran from January to March, compared with growth of 7% during the preceding Annual Election Period (AEP), according to AIS’s Directory of Health Plans (DHP). While the large MA insurers continued to nab the bulk of OEP signups (see infographic, p. 7), an AIS Health analysis finds that of the top 25 OEP performers, regional players ranging from established not-for-profit organizations to rising startup insurers followed their AEP successes with OEP gains that were impressive relative to their size.

After the Medicare AEP that typically runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, the Medicare OEP allows beneficiaries who selected an MA plan to make a onetime coverage change. This year was the third OEP since it was reinstated by the Trump administration, and seniors’ awareness of the opportunity has steadily grown, according to Deft Research. Compared with 67% two years ago, 76% of the MA population was aware of the January through March election period this year, while switch rates during the OEP have stayed between 4% and 5% over the last three years, Deft’s 2021 Open Enrollment Period Study observed.

© 2021 MMIT

Lauren Flynn Kelly Managing Editor, Radar on Medicare Advantage

Lauren has been covering health business issues, including drug benefits and specialty pharmacy, for more than a decade. She served as editor of Drug Benefit News (the predecessor to Radar on Drug Benefits) from 2004 to 2005 and again from 2011 to 2016, and now manages Radar on Medicare Advantage. Lauren graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. in English.

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