The gold-standard, go-to resource for timely, reliable Medicare consumer insights.

Deft Research’s Senior Market Insights Service has become the health insurance industry guidebook for effective senior product development, marketing, and sales. Since 2005, more than 125 carriers and dozens of agencies and consultancies have relied on our piercing market insights as they work to navigate the constant challenges in the evolving government programs landscape. There are six studies publishing throughout the year that are outlined below:

  • Part I: Medicare Shopping and Switching Study
  • Part II: Dual Eligible Member Study
  • Part III: Medicare Open Enrollment Study
  • Part IV: Medicare Age-In Study
  • Part V: Medicare Digital Tools Study
  • Part VI: Medicare Experience and Engagement Study


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2021 Studies


The 2021 Medicare Shopping and Switching Study provides health insurers and other interested parties with a detailed, nationwide snapshot of Medicare consumerism during the AEP. In continuing to build on years-long trends, the 2021 study also provides a look back on how both the COVID-19 pandemic and the General Election impacted consumers' health insurance experiences as well as their overall consumerism. From this, the study will describe implications for what we may expect in the upcoming OEP and next year’s AEP. Click here to view the 2021 study.


Managed care penetration of the dual eligible population exceeds that of standard Medicare members, making Duals a very important growth segment for Duals health plans. This report focuses on the special challenges and opportunities associated with identifying, communicating with, and enrolling this unique population. Click here to view the 2021 study.

2021 Topics! The COVID-19 induced economic shock has increased the number of low-income seniors in the Medicare market. For 2021 we will examine product and marketing strategies for this growing market from both the insurer and the consumer perspective. In addition, we will examine how some social determinants of health, such as social isolation, have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and what influence this has had on the health care and information needs of Duals and other low-income seniors.


This add-on study to our Medicare Shopping and Switching Study examines what happened during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period that runs through March 2021. Post-AEP switching and the correlated factors will be examined as well as on-boarding experiences. Click here to view the 2021 study.

2021 Topics! Once the calendar turns to 2021, are seniors more willing to engage in face-to-face interactions with agents? How durable do preferences for online shopping appear to be a full year into the global crisis? To what extent might we see “pent up switching” during the OEP as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?


The Medicare Age-In Study examines the motivation, timing, and actions taken by consumers as they complete the complicated transition to Medicare and choose their insurance plans. Click here to view the 2021 study.

2021 Topics! This study will follow the journeys of 64 year old consumers leading to Medicare enrollment and plan selection. What anxieties do Age-Ins have regarding Medicare enrollment? What types of MA or MedSupp value propositions do Age-Ins find compelling? To what extent do Age-Ins believe they can be swayed by insurer messaging? How appealing do Age-Ins view MA HMO-POS products or travel benefits? What types of supplemental benefit configurations can plans offer to help attract more first-time enrollees?


New for 2021, the Medicare Health Insurance Digital Tools Study builds off the recently introduced 2020 CMIS Usage of Digital Health Tools Study. The study will focus on how Medicare members use digital health tools—those provided by their insurers, their providers, and other third parties—to manage their health and navigate their coverage. This will be a new study, no 2020 report information is available.Click here to view the 2021 study.

2021 Topics! To what extent do Medicare members use digital tools to manage their health? How aware are seniors of real time drug cost tools, and how likely are they to use them? Do seniors believe that COVID-19 pushed them to be more digitally engaged than they otherwise might have been? For those that do, do they believe they will continue to stay digitally engaged into the future? With the prevalence of online shopping, how important is plan presentation and ranking in selection, and why do few senior enroll online?


This study examines trends in member satisfaction, retention, and loyalty by identifying how plan communications, customer service, and access to care drive these key performance measures. The study also addresses member engagement in health and wellness programs as well as programs aimed at addressing social determinants of health. Click here to view the 2020 study.

2021 Topics! To what extent is loyalty driven by risk aversion—fears or concerns over choosing the wrong coverage, having a major health episode, etc.—rather than (or in addition to) positive experiences created by the plan? In addition to various HEDIS adherence measures, how do other key indicators such as those from the Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) tie to Medicare consumer attitudes and loyalty?

Many health insurance clients choose to purchase local market sample and/or field the national surveys with their own members.