86% of Payers Fail to Deliver Readable Medicare Communications

86% of Payers Fail to Deliver Readable Medicare Communications

The vast majority of payers are producing Medicare and Medicare Advantage documents that are nearly impossible for most members to understand.

From Healthpayer Intelligence with Jennifer Bresnick
Published: January 23, 2019

Original Post: https://healthpayerintelligence.com/news/86-of-payers-fail-to-deliver-readable-medicare-communications

Most documents intended for Medicare and Medicare Advantage members do not meet accessibility standards for the average reader, according to a new report from VisibleThread, a text analysis company.

More than 86 percent of payers offering Medicare products share information with beneficiaries that does not meet federal guidelines for clear, accessible communication as mandated by the Plain Writing Act of 2010.

The law, which started to apply to health insurance providers in 2013, is intended to ensure that entities use plain language, defined as being at or below a 6th grade reading level, to share information with consumers.

According to national statistics from 2003, more than half of Medicare-aged adults (aged 65 or older) are at a “basic” or “below basic” reading level, rendering them unable to understand the typical instructions for taking a prescription medication, for example.