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As the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) opens up on October 15, our latest HealthInsurance.com Medicare survey indicates that the majority of our Medicare-eligible participants make it a point to review their current Medicare coverage every year. The survey reached 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries ages 65 and older, asking them about their perceptions of their current Medicare plans, healthcare costs, technology, social media and retirement. Medicare AEP Survey Findings Key Finding #1: 63% review their Medicare coverage on an annual basis. Still, only 22% plan to make a change to their current Medicare coverage during the 2022 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period. Of this percentage, 42% want to change plans because they’re looking for more coverage and benefits, which may be offered through a private plan like a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan. Other highlights: 33% are considering switching from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage. 33% are considering changing from one Medicare Advantage plan to another. 20% are considering changing their Prescription Drug Plans (Medicare Part D). Medicare Fact: Original Medicare (Parts A and B) provides hospital and medical coverage to Medicare beneficiaries. Meanwhile, a Medicare Advantage plan can be an alternative to Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans may be appealing because many offer extra benefits (dental, vision, hearing), while giving you an annual cap on your spending. It’s no secret that understanding Medicare and the various Medicare plans can be overwhelming and confusing to Medicare beneficiaries. But our Medicare survey honed in on what - exactly - is more confusing to our participants. Key Finding #2: 41% say understanding benefits is the most challenging part of finding the right Medicare plan for their needs. Other highlights: 26% feel there are too many Medicare plans to understand and choose from. 17% say understanding the plan costs can be confusing. 16% worry about scams or misleading information. Researching & Shopping For Medicare Plans We also asked our Medicare-eligible survey participants about who they turn to as a trusted source to research their Medicare plan options. Key Finding #1: 58% research Medicare plans online to understand their options. Meanwhile, 37% call their licensed insurance agents for guidance, and 22% seek out a family member or friend for Medicare advice. Key Finding #2: 62% shop for Medicare plans online. Whether it’s insurance company sites, government websites, or online marketplaces, the majority of our survey respondents also turn to the internet when shopping for Medicare plans. Full Survey Results View the full Medicare survey results. Survey Methodology The above survey results were gathered through a national survey of 1,000 U.S. adults ages 65 and older from September 13-16, 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. (Margin of Sampling Error: +/- 3.1 percentage points) More 2021 HealthInsurance.com Surveys July 2021: Medicare Enrollment & Satisfaction Survey June 2021: Coronavirus Survey: Pandemic Health Checkup May 2021: Coronavirus Survey Captures Work & Life In The New Normal April 2021: Survey: Healthcare Habits And COVID-19 Vaccine Views March 2021: Coronavirus Anniversary Survey: One Year Later February 2021: Coronavirus Survey Findings: Coronavirus Vaccines & Prevention Amidst Pandemic Fatigue January 2021 (Part 2): Consumer Survey: The 2021 Super Bowl & Coronavirus Concerns January 2021 (Part 1): January Survey: A Look At 2021 & Healthcare Habits During COVID-19
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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. An Eye On Medicare Enrollment Statistics Key finding: 49% think the age to be eligible for Medicare should be lowered to 60. Of our total survey participants, 85% have some type of Medicare plan. Here’s the breakdown by plan type: 65% have Original Medicare, which is Part A and Part B 31% have a Medicare Advantage plan. 27% have a Medicare Supplement aka Medigap plan. 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. Survey Spotlight: The Medicare Open Enrollment Period & Choosing A Medicare Plan Key finding: 59% of our participants feel it’s overwhelming or confusing to pick a Medicare plan. 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: Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan. Change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another. Disenroll from your Medicare Advantage plan and go back to Original Medicare. Change from one prescription drug plan (Medicare Part D) to another. Enroll in a prescription drug plan. Cancel your prescription drug coverage. 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: 33% are considering changing from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage. 33% are considering changing from one Medicare Advantage plan to another. 20% are considering changing their Part D prescription plans. 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. Healthcare Cost Concerns Among Older Americans Key finding: 59% are worried that the Medicare program will run out of money. 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. Survey Resources View the full survey results. Survey Methodology 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. More Healthinsurance.com Surveys June 2021: June 2021 Coronavirus Survey: Pandemic Health Checkup May 2021: Coronavirus Survey Captures Work & Life In The New Normal April 2021: April 2021 Survey: Healthcare Habits And COVID-19 Vaccine Views March 2021: Coronavirus Anniversary Survey: One Year Later February 2021: Coronavirus Survey Findings: Coronavirus Vaccines & Prevention Amidst Pandemic Fatigue January 2021 (Part 1): January Survey: A Look At 2021 & Healthcare Habits During COVID-19 January 2021 (Part 2): Consumer Survey: The 2021 Super Bowl & Coronavirus Concerns December 2020: December Survey: Latest Coronavirus Impacts & Findings November 2020: The 2021 Open Enrollment Periods, Health Insurance & The Holidays October 2020: Medicare Survey Gathers Insights on Medical Costs, Technology & More September 2020: U.S. Healthcare, 2020 Election and More August 2020: Multigenerational Perspectives on COVID-19 July 2020: Medicare Eligible Seniors Survey Findings: Technology, COVID-19, the 2020 Election and More
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As many U.S. businesses continue to open back up and lift mask restrictions, our latest HealthInsurance.com survey - which reached 1,000 adult Americans - measured topics like healthcare, self-care and returning to normalcy. Let’s walk through the highlights and top takeaways. Coronavirus and Views On Healthcare Top Takeaway: Healthcare usage is changing. One year ago, our June 2020 survey uncovered that 48% of our respondents said that COVID-19 has changed the way they use healthcare. Now, 62% are saying that the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way they use healthcare, signifying a 25% increase. We also learned that 67% believe our healthcare system has gotten better since the pandemic began - a stark contrast to the 78% who felt that the U.S. healthcare system was either worse or unchanged due to the pandemic as of November 2020. Catching Up On Self Care Top Takeaway: The pandemic has caused people to focus on their health and self care now more than ever. The pandemic has given many of us more free time to focus on health, fitness and self-care. In fact, 73% of our respondents say that their self-care has improved since the start of the pandemic, which is a 81% increase since June 2020. Adding to that, 80% have paid more attention to their health since the pandemic began. This could be why we saw a notable increase in using wearables Apple Watches or FitBits during our June 2021 survey. Now, 52% of our respondents are using these types of wearables to monitor their health and movement. But despite the emphasis on health and wellness, 51% are feeling like they need time off from work, revealing a 22% increase from our June 2020 survey. And 78% plan to travel this summer (which is likely the reason why 49% of respondents are dieting ahead of the summer season). Returning Back To Normalcy Top Takeaway: We’re “kind of” ready to resume normal life. Returning back to normalcy was perhaps the most interesting topic we covered during our latest survey. For example, 59% are hesitant to re-enter social routines, and 48% are still worried about contracting COVID-19. Yet, their behaviors don’t necessarily match their hesitant mindsets: 60% feel comfortable resuming travel for work. 59% have resumed going to restaurants and or bars. 58% have started going to other peoples’ houses 38% have resumed leisurely travel. But protection and prevention are still on the minds of our respondents, with 80% saying they have received the COVID-19 vaccine and 77% still wearing masks in public. Survey Resources View the full survey results. Survey Methodology The above survey results were gathered through a national survey of 1,000 U.S. adults from June, 2, 2021 to June 6, 2021. Certain quotas were applied to the overall sample and lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population. More Healthinsurance.com Surveys April 2021: April 2021 Survey: Healthcare Habits And COVID-19 Vaccine Views March 2021: Coronavirus Anniversary Survey: One Year Later February 2021: Coronavirus Survey Findings: Coronavirus Vaccines & Prevention Amidst Pandemic Fatigue January 2021 (Part 1): January Survey: A Look At 2021 & Healthcare Habits During COVID-19 January 2021 (Part 2): Consumer Survey: The 2021 Super Bowl & Coronavirus Concerns December 2020: December Survey: Latest Coronavirus Impacts & Findings November 2020: The 2021 Open Enrollment Periods, Health Insurance & The Holidays October 2020: Medicare Survey Gathers Insights on Medical Costs, Technology & More September 2020: U.S. Healthcare, 2020 Election and More August 2020: Multigenerational Perspectives on COVID-19 July 2020: Medicare Eligible Seniors Survey Findings: Technology, COVID-19, the 2020 Election and More June 2020: Healthcare Technology, Self-Care and More
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Medicare

This is a federal health insurance program primarily for individuals age 65 or older, younger people with disabilities, and for people with End Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure). There are four parts to Medicare - Parts A, B, C and Part D. Part A is for hospital coverage. Part B is for outpatient medical coverage (like doctor office visits). Part C is a Medicare Advantage Plan, and Part D is prescription drug coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) are accessible through private insurance companies and must offer the same benefits as Parts A and B of Original Medicare, but the rules are different along with costs and restrictions. They also include more benefits, such as vision, dental, hearing, and health/wellness plans. Another add-on value to Medicare coverage is the purchase of a Medicare supplement or “Medigap” plan that fills the “gaps” in insurance that Medicare doesn’t cover (like a deductible).

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ACA (Obamacare)

Obamacare plans are major medical insurance plans that have the ten essential health benefits required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).. These plans can be purchased on the federal marketplace or through your state exchange during the annual open enrollment period that runs November 1 - December 15 or during a special enrollment period if you have a qualifying life event that leaves you uninsured. ACA plans are an excellent option for those seeking a plan that includes maternity and mental health benefits, individuals who could qualify for a financial subsidy to reduce the cost of their health insurance, or for those who have a pre-existing condition. Not sure if you qualify? Get a free quote right now.

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Dental Insurance

Dental insurance for many people is part of their employee benefits package. However, if you don’t have access to employee benefits or missed your employer’s annual open enrollment period, purchasing an individual dental insurance plan can help you maintain good dental hygiene while helping you avoid expensive dental costs Dental coverage can include basic cleanings up to major services. See if dental insurance is right for you!

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Hospital Indemnity Insurance

Hospital indemnity insurance are supplemental health insurance services that pay a fixed dollar amount for commonly used medical services, including hospital and doctor office benefits. If you experience a covered medical event, such as a hospital stay, then a hospital indemnity pays a set fee in cash directly to you or the hospital designated by you. More than just hospital insurance, our products can also include supplemental indemnity payments for a critical illness diagnosis or unexpected accidents. Hospital indemnity insurance is not considered an ACA-qualified plan, but it can be used as a supplement to a major medical ACA plan to help cover a deductible or out-of-pocket expenses.

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Short Term Medical Health Insurance

A short-term health plan is temporary health insurance that can be purchased for as little as 30-days up or for up to 364-days to fill an immediate uninsured need.. Plans use the same terminology as major medical insurance, like deductible, coinsurance and copays, but since it is for temporary needs, it does not cover all of the same health benefits that an ACA health plan would, like maternity or substance abuse. The coverage is primarily for unexpected accidents and illnesses that could occur while an individual is waiting to join a permanent major medical plan, which keeps costs lower.

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Telemedicine

Telemedicine is two-way communication platform between a medical professional and a patient, typically through a smartphone or computer. During the conversation, a U.S. board-certified doctor or nurse can diagnose and prescribe medication for an illness in minutes. From the comfort of your home, you can visit with a medical professional 24/7 for most conditions they would typically diagnose in an Urgent Care clinic, saving you both time and money. Find out if telemedicine services are the right fit for you!

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Frequently Asked Questions

The required essential benefits are designed to ensure everyone in the individual and small employer group major medical health insurance markets has comprehensive coverage for specific services in accordance with ACA guidelines. These benefits are:

  • Outpatient services (e.g. office visits)
  • Emergency room services
  • Inpatient services (hospitalization)
  • Maternity
  • Mental health and substance abuse
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services (e.g. physical and occupational therapy)
  • Lab services
  • Preventive services (e.g. physicals, mammograms, etc.)
  • Pediatric dental and vision

ACA health insurance is the federally mandated health insurance law of the land, also known as Obamacare. It governs individual and family plans and requires ten minimum essential benefits. Anyone can apply, and those that are under the 400% poverty line can receive a financial subsidy to curb the cost of their health insurance. Enrollment is available November 1-December 15 in most states. If you have a life situation that leaves you uninsured, you might be eligible for the special enrollment period to get coverage.

Short term medical insurance is not ACA insurance. It is temporary insurance for those who need immediate coverage. Like ACA insurance, Short term health insurance includes benefits such as hospital, lab and x-rays, but it does not include all ten of the minimum essential benefits and it does not cover pre-existing conditions.

Many individuals apply for both Medicare Part A and Part B so they have doctor coverage and hospital coverage. However, if you are interested in additional benefit structure and pricing, check out Medicare Advantage Plans, which is known as Part C to see if it fits for your life situation. Medicare Part C includes Part A and B benefits, but is offered through a private health insurance company instead of the federal government and may offer additional benefits and may have some other varying differences. If you take prescription drugs, it’s smart to look into Part D, which is the prescription drug benefit of Medicare.

Indemnity insurance such as a health benefit indemnity (a hospital indemnity often combined with other supplemental insurance services) is not major medical insurance Instead, it provides a cash payment directly to you (or to the provider you identify) when you experience a covered event, like unexpected hospitalization. You can choose how to use your benefit dollars and it helps defray the cost of medical expenses, both the expected like co-pays and deductibles, and the unexpected, like lost wages. Indemnity plans help protect you financially.

Dental insurance is an added benefit that is not covered by your health insurance plan. Cleanings, crowns or root canals are not covered by your health insurance plan. But dental insurance will help ease the cost of these types of medical expenses. However, unless you have employer group health insurance, dental insurance is not available unless you purchase coverage on your own. It’s a good idea to determine what kind of coverage you might need for you and your family.

Telemedicine is low-cost access to U.S. board-certified doctors who can treat symptoms and prescribe medications over the phone or through video chat, just like a visit to Urgent Care. Unlike the doctor's office, you get a personal visit from the comfort of your home 24/7, even on holidays! If you have a high deductible or don't have a doctor's office copay option on your health plan, telemedicine is much more affordable than paying out-of-pocket for a doctor's office visit that takes you away from work or home.

Health insurance can help protect you financially from the medical bills - like an accident or illness diagnosis you were not expecting. Paying for medical care out of pocket 100% can get extremely expensive. Surgical treatment for a broken arm averages $16,000. But with health insurance coverage, you will be able to manage your expenses. Not only does health insurance help you access providers like hospitals and doctors, it helps cover your expenses. Depending on your plan, you may have to meet a deductible and pay a co-pay amount for doctor’s visits, but insurance can cover a significant portion of your insurance bills. For example, the average ACA bronze level plan deductible is $5,900, but there is no lifetime max (e.g. an amount beyond which, insurance doesn’t have to pay). You can secure lower deductibles with higher level ACA plans (silver, gold, platinum) and with Short term health insurance. Short term life insurance plans do have a lifetime maximum, so if choosing a short term plan, check the amount. Often, for a few extra dollars, you can secure a lifetime maximum of $500,000 or more.

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