Do content and format affect older consumers' use of comparative information in a Medicare health plan choice? Results from a controlled experiment

Med Care Res Rev. 2006 Dec;63(6):701-18. doi: 10.1177/1077558706293636.


We assessed the efficacy of materials that integrated comparative information on cost, benefits, and quality for employer-based retiree health plans and Medicare Advantage plans in a randomized experiment to test the impact of content and format. Results indicate that older consumers who received the intervention materials found the materials easier to use, gained greater knowledge about Medicare from them, were more likely to value comparative quality information, were more likely to select higher quality plans, and were more likely to choose a plan that reflected the dimensions they found most important compared to older consumers receiving the control materials.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Choice Behavior*
  • Comprehension
  • Consumer Behavior*
  • Data Display
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Information Services / standards*
  • Information Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Managed Care Programs / classification*
  • Managed Care Programs / standards
  • Medicare Part C / classification*
  • Medicare Part C / organization & administration
  • Middle Aged
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • Retirement / economics*