Survey: Most seniors wrongly think health care reform will cut Medicare benefits
Seventy-one percent of American seniors mistakenly believe the federal health care reform law will reduce their Medicare benefits, according to a new survey.
The law, passed in 2010, does not cut Medicare benefits. In fact, it actually adds some benefits for Medicare recipients, including a yearly free checkup and other no-cost preventive care services.
|A December 2010 survey of American seniors found “a near-universal pessimism” about the federal health care reform law.|
Extend Health Inc., which operates the country’s largest private Medicare exchange, conducted the survey of 460 seniors age 65 and older in December 2010.
Bryce Williams, CEO of Extend Health, says: “These survey results are a reminder of the complexity of our health care system. When you couple that with media coverage and points of view from individuals and organizations with their own political agendas, it can make it virtually impossible for smart, well-educated people to separate fact from fiction.
“To reform health care, we need to end the confusion and instead empower consumers to make informed choices.”
Here are some other survey findings that gauge seniors’ perceptions of how health care reform will affect them:
• 87 percent expect increases in the cost of their Medicare insurance premiums.
• 84 percent expect increases in their prescription drug premiums.
• 82 percent expect increases in their out-of-pocket prescription drug expenses.
• 72 percent expect reductions in their choice of Medicare Advantage or Medigap insurance plans.
• 64 percent expect reductions in their choice of Part D prescription drug plans.
The seniors who were surveyed “showed a near-universal pessimism” about the anticipated effects of the health care reform law, Extend Health reported.
Issues addressed in the survey are “of ongoing concern to seniors, but there are no specific provisions in the health care reform law that will lead to decreases in plans or increases in the types of costs that seniors are concerned about. So their answers are not so much misperceptions about the health care reform law, but fears about what its impact might be,” Extend Health spokeswoman Caitlin Senior says.