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highway sign pointing to high deductibleBecause price is such a strong determinant in plan choice, even the promise of a longer (and better) fade into the sunset may not overcome the historic consumer resistance to plan cost.

Once again we welcome plan enrollment season, when most enrollees tend to stick with the plan they already have–and some may be choosing a plan that’s killing them. At least, killing them faster than another plan they might have chosen.

This is the morbid conclusion of research from the Yale School of Management. A team led by Jason Abaluck, a Yale prof in the school of economics, decided to take on a tough assignment: How much do annual Medicare Advantage plan mortality rates vary? And, if people knew about the differences and acted upon them, how many fewer might die this year?

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.

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