Survey reveals glaring knowledge gap among Medicare beneficiaries – InsuranceNewsNet

NORTH MIAMI, Fla., July 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Medigap.com, an online resource that compares Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplements and Part D prescription drug plans for free, today released the results of a specially designed survey published Gain insight into Medicare beneficiaries’ understanding and satisfaction with their current coverage.

Today, nearly 64 million Americans are enrolled in either the original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan, and approximately 50 million are enrolled in Medicare Part D. As healthcare needs increase later in life and coverage through different Medicare plans keeps changing, it’s crucial beneficiaries have an understanding of what their specific plan covers and whether it’s the best option for them.

Medigap.com’s Medicare Basics Survey surveyed more than 750 Medicare beneficiaries ages 65 and older to uncover their attitudes and beliefs about their coverage. The results show that there is a striking lack of knowledge among beneficiaries about which medical services are and are not covered by their Medicare plan, and a desire for broader medical coverage within the program.

Notable poll results include:

  • More than one in four (26%) respondents said they were only “somewhat familiar” with their plan’s coverage.
  • Almost one in three (31%) respondents felt their plan did not cover all medical needs.
  • More than half (56%) of respondents said they were concerned about the cost of their medical expenses.
  • More than a quarter (27%) of respondents indicated that they have basic medical needs that are not covered by their plan.
  • 74% of those questioned named dental services, 52% visual medicine services and 43% hearing medicine services.

It is clear from these results that there is a need to improve the training and available resources for Medicare beneficiaries, especially considering that nearly two in five (37.57 percent) respondents said they were overwhelmed when trying to understand what is covered and what is not their plans. This ignorance of plan coverage can also make it difficult to consider switching to a new plan, which nearly a quarter (23%) of respondents said they had considered.

This can result in beneficiaries remaining enrolled in a plan that is not best suited to their needs, which can ultimately result in them being prevented from seeking care to avoid out-of-pocket expenses. More than one in ten respondents (12%) said they have not used certain medical services because they were unsure whether they are covered by their current plan.

“Medicare provides health coverage to over 60 million Americans; It’s not easy to design a set of covered benefits that work perfectly for everyone,” said Lindsay Malzone, Medicare Specialist at Medigap.com. “With this in mind, it is of great importance that we know where the gaps are in beneficiary knowledge and benefit coverage, as the program is constantly changing and working to transform itself to accommodate the greatest number of people at once to deliver. We found that beneficiaries needed better access to informational resources to understand not only what their plan covers, but if there is another plan that might better meet their medical and financial needs.”

survey methodology
This survey was conducted on May 24, 2022 among a national sample of 756 Americans age 65 and older. To download the full survey results, please click here.

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