@GailL1 carriers that write MA plans make money by controlling claims. Medical claims consume 80 to 85% of revenue. Trying to squeeze the balloon on advertising and promotion will generate nominal savings if any at all.
Overhead including advertising dollars is a very small percentage of the total pie.
Those expenditures are not allocated by line of coverage but rather as a total percent of revenue. The green eye shade folks don't assign beans by department or coverage lines.
Personally it does not matter to me how much or how little a carrier spends on promoting MA plans. Carriers are compensated by CMS based on a number of factors including loss ratios.
At least carriers are held accountable for their dollars. Government is accountable to no one.
If their loss ratio is less than the CMS guidelines that carrier will receive lower compensation the following year than they would have normally. In other words, carriers have a disencentive to hold down claim costs.
You can bet the actuaries are monitoring loss ratios on a quarterly basis to make sure they have favorable loss ratio's but not TOO favorable.
In the big picture carriers control claim dollars via smaller networks, cost shifting, claim denials and other means.
These plans are called managed care for a reason. Neither the patient nor the provider are managing care. Rather it is the CARRIER that decides WHERE the patient receives care, what KIND of care they receive, and how MUCH.
Most Medicare advisors (SHIP, agents, carrier reps, Medicare "agents", etc) have no idea how to compare one MA plan with another. And there are very few consumers who understand the complexities of MA and PDP plans which leads the majority to make poor choices.
It's all fun until the party is over. That's when folks wish they had made better decisions.
Useful information on commercial and government sites is almost impossible to mine, even if you know what you are looking for.
Bark less. Wag more.