The Medicare enrollment process can be daunting. GoHealth, a marketplace for Medicare plans, surveyed 2,100 people at or near eligibility to learn about their biggest worries. Click through this gallery to learn what they are most concerned about, in order to better prepare yourself to help your retiring clients.

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1. Selecting and enrolling in a plan is seen as an overwhelming task.

Three in five of Americans nearing eligibility were already overwhelmed trying to find the right plan, and half of Medicare beneficiaries said they felt overwhelmed when they began the process. Two in five beneficiaries did not know where to start.

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2. Who to turn to for help.

The two main sources people turned to were a Medicare agent, in person or on the phone, and Medicare.gov. One in five beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare without outside help, putting them at risk for signing up for a plan with improper coverage.

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3. Gaps in coverage.

Regardless of gender and income, coverage gaps exist for some. One in four Medicare beneficiaries either did not believe or were unsure whether their current plan met all their health care needs.

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4. Specialists, prescriptions and long-term care.

One in three had gaps in specialist care coverage, one in five experienced long-term care coverage gaps and one in five needed better prescription coverage. Beneficiaries in each region of the country saw gaps in prescriptions and specialist care. For women, specialist care coverage was the primary concern, while for men, it was prescription coverage. Middle-income beneficiaries faced more issues with long-term care coverage than did lower income beneficiaries.

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5. Changes by the government.

Sixty-nine percent of Medicare beneficiaries and 58% of those nearing eligibility feared that the government would make changes that would affect their care.

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6. Affordability.

When they first enrolled in Medicare or as they began the enrollment process, half of Medicare beneficiaries selected a plan based on what they could afford and half worried that their plan would not cover their long-term health care needs.

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7. Timing.

Twenty percent of beneficiaries began thinking about their Medicare options after becoming eligible or turning 65, while 42% nearing eligibility had not started thinking about their Medicare options.

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8. Lack of expert guidance.

Three in four said an expert who could recommend plans would make the enrollment process easier. Four in five pushed for access to an easy-to-read website of information.

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9. Which plan to choose.

Three in four did not yet know which plan they would enroll in.

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10. What is covered?

Sixty-eight percent of those nearing eligibility did not understand what was covered.

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Fears, concerns, confusion. Many Medicare beneficiaries and those nearing eligibility experience these feelings about the cost and coverage of their plans, according to a new study from GoHealth.

GoHealth, a marketplace for Medicare plans, commissioned online interviews in late July among two pools of respondents: 1,106 respondents who were 65 and older and enrolled in Medicare, and 1,000 respondents who were 62 and older and not enrolled in Medicare.

Fifty-one percent of Medicare beneficiaries and 72% of those near eligibility expressed concern about affordability, and half of the former and 65% of the latter worried that their plan would not cover long-term care. Nineteen percent of current beneficiaries had already found that their plan does not meet their health care needs.

These findings are not surprising when you consider that 12% of Medicare beneficiaries and 15% of those nearing eligibility said they had to decide between paying a medical bill and buying groceries or paying household bills.

Twelve percent of beneficiaries and 15% of those approaching eligibility said they had not picked up medications because of cost. And the latter were twice as likely as beneficiaries to forgo preventive care.

All this suggests there is an important role advisors can play in advising and educating their clients as they make decisions about Medicare coverage to help ensure the plan they choose will meet their health care needs.

See the gallery for 10 insights into how Americans are thinking about and approaching Medicare and enrollment.

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