With open enrollment for Medicare plans starting this week, Missourians are more likely than residents of most states to find physicians that accept all Medicare plans.
About 86 percent of Missouri doctors accept all Medicare plans, according to a survey from health care firm Merritt Hawkins. That’s the sixth-highest rate nationally.
By contrast, the rate in neighboring Kansas is 70.6 percent.
A few factors could contribute to Missouri’s high rate, according to industry observers.
The concentration of doctors in major metropolitan areas like Kansas City and St. Louis gives consumers more alternatives and could make doctors less likely to deny Medicare coverage, analyst Travis Singleton said.
An increase in physicians working for big hospitals that accept all Medicare patients also plays a role, according to John Hagan, past president of the Kansas City Medical Society.
Read more: Kansas City Star