Seniors enrolling in Medicare experience a process with many challenges. People also have significant gaps in knowledge of plan components and are overwhelmed. This causes them to enroll in plans that fail to best reflect and support their evolving healthcare needs. Beck & Lenox Estate Planning and Elder Law, LLC, says that the volume of mail one receives on the topic also adds to why Medicare enrollment is confusing.
Markets Insider’s recent article entitled “New Report Reveals Significant Gaps in Medicare Knowledge Among Older Adults” reports that such issues may jeopardize the ability of seniors to make the best choices for their unique health and wellness needs. Moreover, the results may worsen as they age. That’s what the findings are in a new report, Hidden Crisis: The Medicare Enrollment Maze, issued by national healthcare consultancy Sage Growth Partners. The report is based on a survey of 1,142 individuals ages 64 and older.
The report explores the significant effect of widespread confusion and overwhelming enrollment challenges on the elderly and the entire healthcare system. There were roughly 64 million Americans enrolling in Medicare in 2021 and the U.S. Census Bureau projects more than 73 million Americans will enroll by 2030. Many think the negative effects will only get worse.
“This report shows the striking level of confusion surrounding Medicare enrollment for all ages. While there may be many better plan options, very few enrollees have the necessary knowledge to choose them,” said Dan D’Orazio, Sage Growth Partners CEO. “The level of satisfaction with shopping for Medicare plans lies below the cellar-dwellers of industry satisfaction, such as cable tv providers and internet shopping. This is very troubling considering what is at stake for older adults and their clinical and financial health.”
The report’s key findings include the following:
- Only 20% of Medicare-eligible individuals have a solid understanding of Original Medicare, and less than a third (31%) have a good understanding of Medicare Advantage.
- 63% say they’re “overwhelmed” by Medicare advertising, with just 31% of respondents who “strongly agree” that they can make effective selection decisions.
- Over half (58%) stay in their current Medicare plan each year and don’t review their plan options and enroll in the best plan for their evolving needs.
“This report confirms that most older adults find Medicare enrollment confusing and lack adequate resources or support to choose the best plan,” said Dave Francis, CEO of Healthpilot. “Enrolling in Medicare is a pivotal time for millions and the Medicare marketplace is ripe for transformation. I believe that it is possible to make health care better for individuals aged 64 and older throughout the country, but we need dynamic platforms and sincere actions to make this happen.”
In the meantime, ask for help from a younger adult who has the time and the patience to help you decide on the right plan for you. Medicare enrollment is confusing, but with the right help, you can make a decision.
Reference: Markets Insider (July 12, 2022) “New Report Reveals Significant Gaps in Medicare Knowledge Among Older Adults”