What You Need to Know
- Health care expenses for older people dropped dramatically from 2019 to 2020, the survey found.
- Nearly half of older adults in 2020 spent $375 a month or less, up from 35% in 2019.
- The pandemic curtailed visits to doctors.
One upside of the pandemic seems to be that people, especially retirees, cut back on visiting doctors and curbed spending on out-of-pocket medical expenses, according to a new survey by The Senior Citizens League, an advocacy group for older adults.
In fact, the survey found almost twice as many participants spent on the high end for health care, more than $1,000 per month, in 2019 than in 2020.
The online survey of almost 1,100 people found the decrease significant between the two years. In 2019, 30% of all respondents spent more than $1,000 a month on health care expenses, while that number dropped to 17% in 2020. The largest number of respondents (29%) in 2020 said they spent between $160 and $375 a month.
Perhaps this is no surprise considering the fear of visiting a doctor’s office or hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This was most likely due to the large number of doctor, medical, dental [and] other visits that were postponed or canceled as our nation awaited vaccines,” said Mary Johnson, a Medicare policy analyst for TSCL, in a statement.