Research questions addressed through the case studies and the key informant interviews can provide insight into two main domains:
1. Beneficiary awareness, access to information, understanding, and enrollment experiences from the perspective of employers, pharmacists, and SHIP staff and
2. Employer, pharmacist, and SHIP staff awareness; access to information; satisfaction with information; usefulness of information; understanding; experiences assisting beneficiaries with questions and/or the enrollment process; and disseminating information.
A sample of research questions that could be addressed through the use of case studies with employers, pharmacists, and SHIP counselors and key informant interviews with coalitions and professional associations regarding awareness of the NMEP, access to NMEP information, understanding of Medicare, and use of NMEP materials and products include the following:
1. Do employers/pharmacists/SHIP counselors feel that people with Medicare understand the key messages that CMS is trying to convey? Are beneficiaries having problems accessing and understanding the information resources to help them choose a Medicare plan? Are beneficiaries having problems enrolling in plans?
2. What levels of awareness do employers/pharmacists/SHIP staff have about NMEP messages, products, and/or any publicity or advertising campaigns?
3. How knowledgeable are employers/pharmacists/SHIP counselors about Medicare (e.g., prescription drug coverage, plan types, rules, enrollment processes)? Where do they get their information? How completely and accurately do they believe they understand various topics? How comfortable are they in their role, especially pharmacists?
4. What are the most common questions that beneficiaries pose to employers/pharmacists/SHIP counselors?
5. How satisfied are employers/pharmacists/SHIP counselors with the information Medicare provides? What information sources do they find helpful and how can the current information sources be improved?
6. What is the comparative helpfulness of various Medicare informational materials?
7. What topics/sections of Medicare materials/products are most useful?
8. What materials do employers/pharmacists/SHIP counselors disseminate to beneficiaries? How do they disseminate them?
9. What kind of information and support are employers/SHIP pharmacists/counselors getting from CMS? What kind of information and support (e.g., SHIP staff with sufficient computer literacy to be able to help clients with newer options like Part D) do they need?