Despite Challenges, Older Adults on Medicare Recognize the Importance of Proactively Renewing Their Coverage
Many older adults on Medicare aren’t doing enough to proactively protect their healthcare plan and pocketbooks during the Annual Enrollment Period, according to Connie Health’s 2023 survey of over 1,000 Medicare users.
Selecting a Medicare plan can be the most important decision older individuals make later in life to protect their health. However, over two-thirds of Medicare plan users admitted to not reviewing their coverage and costs during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) last year. With the right tools, older adults on Medicare can understand their healthcare plan and prevent potential issues when policies renew annually, like changes to doctors, prescriptions, and out-of-pocket expenses.
In a 2023 Connie Health survey of Medicare users:
Medicare Difficulties: With 98% of people over 65 on Medicare*, there are important things seniors need to know before picking a Medicare plan this annual enrollment season. But 35% of seniors say no one is helping them navigate the complicated Medicare web. It could be costing them – both health implications and out-of-pocket expenses.
External Factors: Inflation and price increases top seniors’ concerns ahead of Medicare annual enrollment season this year, above health concerns. Money concerns are so prevalent with older adults on Medicare that 65% say they’d be willing to switch their plan if they knew it could save them money. Not only that, more than one-third feel less comfortable making big purchases due to projected Medicare premium increases this year.
Out-of-Pocket Expenses: While nearly half (49%) of Medicare users admit to using preventative services like annual wellness visits in the past year, there are still many who are trying to navigate their plan. 33% of those who didn’t take advantage of their Medicare benefits admit they were concerned about added costs.
Nearly one-third (27%) of Medicare users say they paid unexpected medical expenses in the past year. The most common reasons seniors pay unexpected out-of-pocket costs are diagnostic tests (22%) and prescription drugs (21%).
2023 is the Year to Prepare your Medicare Plan with Confidence: Nearly two-thirds (59%) of Medicare users with medical debt owe more than $500. An astonishing 25% owe between $500 – $1,000 in expenses. Reviewing changes to your Medicare plan during the Annual Enrollment Period can help protect you from unexpected costs and changes to your coverage. Despite 63% of older adults on Medicare users feeling concerned about maintaining their health, less than 20% are concerned with understanding their healthcare plan. Protecting your health starts with having the tools to confidently tackle your health insurance plan.
Connie Health is the only platform connecting seniors with a local agent for Medicare navigation. Best of all, Connie’s services are provided at no cost to the individual. Unbiased advice is assured as Connie’s team of local agents receives the same commission regardless of the insurance company or plan selected.
This survey was conducted by Researchscape International for Connie Health from September 15 to 19, 2023, of 1,129 U.S. seniors on Medicare or Medicaid. In addition to a national sample of 500, 100+ responses were collected from six profiled states: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, and Texas. Topline results were weighted by gender, state, and Census division to represent the overall U.S. population of seniors.
Read more by Renee van Staveren