With the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) just around the corner this fall, our latest HealthInsurance.com survey honed in on Medicare-eligible consumer sentiments and behavior, including actions they might take during AEP and their growing concerns over healthcare costs.
The Medicare survey reached more than 1,000 Americans ages 64 and up. Let’s walk through some survey topics and highlights.
Of our total survey participants, 85% have some type of Medicare plan. Here’s the breakdown by plan type:
Meanwhile, 12% either delayed or plan to delay their retirement to keep their employer-sponsored health insurance.
Lastly, our Medicare survey also uncovered that 15% of our survey participants used the Special Enrollment Period (SEP) during COVID-19 to enroll in Medicare.
The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), also called the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, happens each year from October 15 to December 7. During this time, eligible Medicare beneficiaries can:
And our Medicare survey revealed that 53% plan to switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan.
On the other hand, 42% are currently unsure about changing their Medicare plans during this year’s AEP. Of this percentage:
As stated above, our survey revealed how 59% of our participants feel it’s overwhelming or confusing to pick a Medicare plan. This Medicare consumer confusion about how to pick the right Medicare plans for their specific needs and budgets can stem from a number of places, including understanding plan coverage and costs coupled with an overwhelming amount of Medicare Advantage and Medigap plan choices.
So how are Medicare consumers trying to combat this confusion and find the right Medicare plan? According to our survey participants, 56% research online to compare Medicare plans. And 38% use their insurance agents to help understand their Medicare options.
Another finding that stood out is that 54% of our Medicare survey participants don’t trust online services to help them shop for Medicare plans. Yet, 40% claimed that they enrolled into their respective Medicare Advantage plans online.
It’s no secret that the rising costs of healthcare remain a top concern, especially among older Americans. According to our survey, 64% are worried about out-of-pocket medical costs.
Costly prescription drugs are keeping people up at night, too. Our survey indicated that 89% think prescription drug costs are too high. Adding to that, 39% had not filled a prescription because it was too expensive.
Hearing aids were also on the minds of our survey respondents, with 44% who have avoided or known someone who has avoided purchasing a hearing aid due to its cost.
The above survey results were gathered through a national survey of 1,000 U.S. adults ages 64 and older from July 10, 2021 to July 13, 2021. Certain quotas were applied, and the sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the 65+ population.