New research suggests that even for those who have good eyesight, trying to read and understand the differences in Medicare prescription plans could be difficult for those in assisted living homes who are trying to figure out which of the up to 50 options is the best choice.
Researchers at UCLA came up with about 180 hypothetical drug plans, then asked nearly 200 seniors in California what plan they would recommend to an acquaintance.
Although the older group was twice as confident in their choice of the least expensive plan, the scientists noted that only about 40 percent actually chose the most cost-effective option.
"There is information overload when there are too many drug plans for seniors to choose from," said study co-author Thomas Rice, UCLA vice chancellor. "Congress needs to take this issue very seriously."
The data supports restricting the number of options to only the "highest-quality, best-performing plans," says Paul Precht, Medicare Rights Center director of policy and communications, adding that low premiums do not always ensure low prescription costs.