In The News > Medicare Eligible Seniors Survey Findings: Technology, COVID-19, the 2020 Election and More

Medicare Eligible Seniors Survey Findings: Technology, COVID-19, the 2020 Election and More

Our previous healthinsurance.com surveys have paid close attention to how COVID-19 is impacting our economy, mental health, telemedicine usage, self-care and more. But our most recent survey focuses on an important group: Seniors.

In our Medicare Eligible Seniors survey, more than 1,000 Americans ages 64 and up weighed in on life during the Coronavirus pandemic, their use of technology, their Medicare plans, their feelings toward the 2020 election, and more.

Medicare Eligible Seniors Survey Results

One important takeaway from this survey is that seniors are embracing technology in new ways during the coronavirus pandemic. More than half of the respondents agreed that they have been using technology more during the pandemic.

Seniors are using technology for the following:

  • Healthcare: they are receiving virtual care through telemedicine, ordering prescriptions online and monitoring their health through wearables.
  • Information: they are using social media to stay informed on relevant news.
  • Communication: they are staying in touch with family and friends via texting, phone calls, video chat, and social media.
  • Entertainment: they are binge watching their favorite shows on smart TVs and streaming devices.

Medicare Eligible Seniors Survey Infographic Impact of Technology on Medicare and Seniors Infographic

Technology Use Among Seniors in 2020

  • 89% have a smartphone
  • 83% use Facebook the most
  • 75% have a smart TV or streaming device
  • 73% use social media
  • 68% have an iPad or other type of tablet
  • 66% still have cable TV
  • 61% feel they have embraced technology more during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • 54% video chat with their kids and grandkids
  • 50% have video chatted more since the start of COVID-19
  • 47% binge watch shows
  • 43% would wear a device that helped maintain appropriate social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic and alert others if they are too close
  • 42% prefer talking on a cell phone as their method of communication
  • 32% video chat with their friends
  • 30% use social media to staying in touch with friends
  • 29% prefer texting as their method of communication
  • 28% monitor their health using a wearable (Apple Watch, Fitbit, etc.)
  • 22% use social media to stay in touch with family
  • 21% use social media for news
  • 11% started using a smartphone or tablet during the pandemic

Life During COVID-19

  • 64% have only left the house to go food shopping or to the pharmacy during COVID-19
  • 62% have you seen their kids or grandkids in person since mid-March
  • 54% have put off a dentist appointment because of COVID-19
  • 27% have left their house whenever they wanted during COVID-19

2020 Medicare Usage and Preferences

  • 97% say their doctor accepts Medicare
  • 84% are not looking to switch doctors because they don’t accept medicare
  • 69% with a Medicare Advantage plan are happy with it
  • 51% think the age to be eligible for Medicare should be lowered to 60
  • 39% look for a Medicare a plan that accepts their doctor
  • 37% think seniors who have a Medicare Advantage plan and who contract COVID-19 are getting better care
  • 26% look for a Medicare plan with low monthly premiums and copays
  • 26% intend to switch from an Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan in the next enrollment period
  • 22% look for a medicare plan that has extra benefits (ie. dental, vision, hearing, fitness programs)
  • 22% intend to change their prescription drug plan in the next enrollment period
  • 20% plan to adjust their Medicare plan during the next annual enrollment period (Oct. 15 - Dec. 7)
  • 12% used the special enrollment period to enroll in Medicare during COVID-19

Prescription Drugs

  • 89% think prescription drug prices are too high
  • 36% spend more than $50 a month on prescription drugs
  • 34% order prescriptions from an online pharmacy

Medical Costs

  • 66% are worried about out-of-pocket costs
  • 62% are you worried about receiving an unexpected medical bill
  • 50% have money set aside for their children or family to use for their health needs
  • 36% have put off seeing a doctor because of cost
  • 35% are worried about contracting COVD-19 because they may be hit with a surprise bill

Telemedicine Usage

  • 68% of those who haven’t used telemedicine during COVID-19 say its because they haven’t needed to
  • 58% have used telemedicine just once during COVID-19
  • 44% have used telemedicine during COVID-19
  • 43% intend on using telemedicine once COVID-19 passes
  • 30% have used telemedicine once a month during COVID-19
  • 10% used telemedicine before COVID-19

The 2020 Presidential Election

  • 92% say lowering drug prices is an important topic in the upcoming election
  • 84% haven’t seen the country more divided in their lifetime than it is now
  • 68% say the economy and healthcare are the two most important issues to them in the 2020 election
  • 58% will vote via mail-in ballot in November
  • 42% will vote in person in November

Methodology

The above results were gathered through an online poll of more than 1,000 Medicare eligible Americans ages 64+. The poll was conducted from July 20, 2020 to July 21, 2020, gleaning representative samples from each state based on population.

Explore More Healthinsurance.com Survey Findings

June 2020: Healthcare Technology, Self-Care and More

May 2020: Testing, Mental Health, and More

April 2020: Economic Impacts and Health Insurance Trends

March 2020: Telemedicine Usage During COVID-19

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It could save you money in the long run. For seniors especially, the cost of medications continues to rise at an alarming rate. One of the simplest ways for seniors to save is to find and compare Prescription Drug Plans (Medicare Part D). Start by comparing quotes, or talking to an insurance agent who is willing to research the medications you take. The right agent will have knowledge of all the pharmacies close to your home and plans available in your area. He or she can also help you identify ways to save on your prescriptions. 4. Use a Health Savings Account (HSA) You may have access to a Health Savings Account (HSA) through your employer (or previous employer). Using an HSA can save you money because your contributions are pre-tax dollars and can accrue interest. And unlike a Flexible Savings Account (FSA), the HSA is owned by you, so it can carry over into your retirement. And there is no deadline on when you can spend the funds. 5. 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You can also find more tips to avoid medical debt in this article.
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