New Survey Reveals How Minnesota Seniors Prioritize Overall Experience, Local Customer Service When Choosing a Medicare plan

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

Ability to have Medicare questions answered by fellow Minnesotans drives increased confidence

(Eagan, MN) —  Sept. 21, 2023  — According to a new survey from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross), for Minnesotans aged 65 and older, the importance of dependable and helpful customer service is nearly universal when evaluating the value of a Medicare plan.

The surveyi, conducted with more than 500 Minnesota seniors enrolled in Medicare plans offered by a range of local and national carriers, reveals a number of positive trends and timely insights as the 2024 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is set to begin in October. Key findings include:

  • Nearly all (98%) of Minnesota seniors consider customer service to be an important factor within a Medicare plan.
  • More than half (55%) of Minnesota seniors agree that having a local health insurance plan staffed by fellow Minnesotans can increase confidence.
  • 71% of seniors call their Medicare plan’s customer service line at least once a year. Primary reasons for calling are to ask general questions about plan benefits, coverage and/or network.
  • The driving factors that make a customer service experience positive include having a positive/respectful interaction with the representative (58%) and receiving clear/helpful explanations from the representative (55%).

John Hines, a long-time Twin Cities radio personality, has partnered with Blue Cross to raise awareness of health issues facing seniors – something that hits closer to home now that he relies on Blue Cross for his Medicare coverage. He understands the complex feelings that come with enrolling in a plan and the value of good customer service.

“It took a minute, but I’ve adjusted to thinking of myself as a ‘senior’ – and I’m proud of how I’ve kept my health top of mind in my first years of Medicare,” said Hines. “Like so many of my friends and family over 65, I appreciate having a friendly, knowledgeable voice on the other end of the line when I call Blue Cross with questions about my plan. There’s nothing better than knowing that I’m going to get answers from someone who also calls Minnesota ‘home’.”

An Established Leader in Medicare Customer Service

Blue Cross Medicare plans are top-rated by its members for customer service, based on 2022 CAHPS resultsii. According to Blue Cross data, more than two-thirds (78%) of Medicare member calls are successfully resolved in a single phone call. Backed by a service team of nearly 500 Minnesota-based Member Experience Advocates, Blue Cross retains 95% of its Medicare enrollees from one plan year to the next. The importance of local service is also reflected in the high rate (85%) of Blue Cross Medicare enrollees who use the services of a Minnesota insurance agent or broker.

More Minnesota Seniors are Placing an Importance on Health

The Blue Cross survey also indicates that 71% of seniors in the state feel motivated to prioritize their health since turning 65, up from 67% in 2022. Additionally, more than half (55%) of all seniors strongly agree that they feel in control of their overall health.

“It’s encouraging to see more and more seniors prioritize their health – and regain a sense of control after the recent challenging years,” said Dr. Mark Steffen, senior vice president of medical management and chief medical officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. “Taking full advantage of their Medicare plans and resources is an important part of maintaining overall well-being – along with other core activities such as staying active, eating healthy and spending time with loved ones.”

For more information about the senior survey, visit

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
For 90 years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota ( has supported the health, wellbeing and peace of mind of our members by striving to ensure equitable access to high quality care at an affordable price. Our 2.5 million members can be found in every Minnesota county, all 50 states and on four continents. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

i Survey methodology: Blue Cross surveyed 510 Minnesota residents 65+ years of age. The survey was fielded August 11-24, 2023. 
ii Based on 2022 CAHPS results. Star rating information is on Every year, Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system. Star rating information is on

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