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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