Want to boost member satisfaction? Double down on benefits awareness.

With preferred-channel communication, MA plans can better inform beneficiaries about their benefits—and in turn, boost their satisfaction.

When MA beneficiaries don’t know which benefits are available to them, it can hurt their plan satisfaction over the long term—and even prompt them to switch plans entirely. 

Fortunately, there are proven, effective ways that MA plans can educate members about their benefits. It all starts with preferred-channel communication. 

Phreesia surveyed nearly 5,000 adults age 65+ to better understand their preferences, experiences and perceptions related to health insurance, particularly MA. In this report, we’ll explore the survey results so you can understand: 

  • Why members feel underinformed about the benefits they care about most
  • How preferred-channel communication can help you close knowledge gaps
  • 3 tips to diversify and strengthen your benefits-awareness strategy

Click the image to download the report.

Want to boost member satisfaction? Double down on benefits awareness.

Want to raise Medicare Advantage (MA) members’ awareness of their health plan benefits? Preferred-channel communication is the key.

Phreesia surveyed adults age 65 and older to better understand their preferences, experiences and perceptions about health insurance, particularly MA. In this report, we’ll highlight how MA plans can increase members’ awareness of the benefits and preventive-care services available to them to improve their satisfaction, boost retention and meet their health equity goals.

About this survey 

  • 4,861 responses collected over six weeks in May–June 2023
  • 58% survey completion rate
  • 52% of respondents identified as female
  • 65% of respondents located in urban areas
  • National sample with results from 50 states

Members aren’t receiving enough information about the benefits they care about most

When choosing a Medicare Advantage plan, the vast majority of beneficiaries surveyed by Phreesia (88%) said the ability to receive health plan information via their preferred communication channel was a “very” or “extremely” important factor in their plan selection.

But our survey found a striking gap between the benefits members consider important and whether they recall receiving information from their health plan about them.

Which benefits do you consider important, and which ones have you received information about?

Among respondents currently enrolled in MA

  • Benefits important (n=1,348)
  • Information received (n=1,198)

Prescription drugs

  • Benefits important: 84%
  • Information received: 69%

Reimbursement of Part B premium

  • 28%
  • 15%

Durable medical equipment

  • 25%
  • 19%

Home health care

  • 21%
  • 20%


  • 12%
  • 11%

Nursing home/facility care

  • 12%
  • 6%

Furthermore, our research found that member-reported gaps in receiving preventive care information correlated with members’ plan ratings and their overall perceptions of their MA coverage.

Across all preventive care services analyzed, MA members who rated their plan a 9 or 10 (on a 10-point scale) were more likely to recall receiving information about those services than members who rated their plan an 8 or lower.

Which of the following preventive care services has your current health plan shared information with you about? Select all that apply.

Among respondents currently enrolled in MA

  • Rated plan 9 or 10 (n=736)
  • Rated plan 8 or less (n=482)

Annual wellness visit*

  • Rated plan 9 or 10: 77%
  • Rated plan 8 or less: 70%

Flu shot*

  • 66%
  • 60%


  • 66%
  • 60%

Eye exam*

  • 58%
  • 42%


  • 56%
  • 46%

Blood pressure screening

  • 53%
  • 47%

Cholesterol screening*

  • 48%
  • 39%

Dental exam*

  • 40%
  • 33%

Bone density screening*

  • 36%
  • 29%

Diabetes screening (A1c)

  • 35%
  • 30%

Hearing test*

  • 27%
  • 20%

Skin exam

  • 22%
  • 18%

None of these

  • 6%
  • 12%

* Statistically significant differences
** Includes data only for women

Using preferred-channel communication to close knowledge gaps

Though most health plans have made strides in member engagement, there is still room for improvement. Nearly 1 in 5 MA beneficiaries (18%) who have been enrolled for less than a year said they were not “very” or “extremely” satisfied with their ability to receive health plan information through their preferred communication channels.

The recurring theme? Members want their health plans to communicate with them digitally.

More than half (58%) of beneficiaries would prefer to receive health plan information via email, but barely a quarter (26%) currently do. The numbers are even starker for text messaging, with 30% of MA members citing it as a preferred communication channel, but only 8% reporting that they currently receive plan information via text message.

Modes of communication from current health plan

Among respondents currently enrolled in MA

  • Current (n=1,313)
  • Preferred (n=1,326)


  • Current: 26%
  • Preferred: 58%


  • 33%
  • 42%

Text messaging

  • 8%
  • 30%


  • 13%
  • 25%

Primary care provider

  • 8%
  • 24%

Online member portal

  • 11%
  • 23%

When beneficiaries feel their communication preferences are disregarded or ignored, their engagement is bound to decline. As a result, they’re less likely to be aware of key benefits available to them—and more likely to feel dissatisfied with their plan overall. 

Fortunately, there are proven, effective ways for health plans to address this disconnect. By embracing diversified communication strategies, payers can easily engage members via their preferred communication channels. The end results are better benefits awareness, higher plan satisfaction and more effective member engagement.

Strategies for success

  1. Embrace a digital-first approach to distributing benefits information, including via email, text messaging and voice calls. In doing so, you will better align with members’ communication preferences, educate them about the benefits they care about and improve their overall experience with your plan.  
  2. Partner with providers to distribute plan information at the point of care when members’ health is top of mind. MA beneficiaries find point-of-care messaging more reliable than other content channels,1 and it’s often a more cost-efficient way to increase benefits awareness and member engagement. 
  3. Get members’ direct feedback by surveying them about their preferred communication channels. Then, use that data to assess your plan’s strengths, identify opportunities for improvement and give your members the personalized engagement experience they expect. 

Ready to transform your benefits-awareness strategy?  
Visit phreesia.com/memberconnect to see how we help health plans today.

About Phreesia

Phreesia is the trusted leader in patient activation, giving providers, health plans, life sciences companies and other organizations tools to help patients take a more active role in their care. Founded in 2005, Phreesia enabled more than 120 million patient visits in 2022—more than 1 in 10 visits across the U.S.—scale that we believe allows us to make meaningful impact. Offering patient-driven digital solutions for intake, outreach, education and more, Phreesia enhances the patient experience, drives efficiency and improves healthcare outcomes.

1. “How point-of-care messaging can boost patient trust and activation,” Phreesia Life Sciences, Dec. 1, 2022. 

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