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American Seniors Prioritize This When Choosing Their Healthcare

Half of seniors say reading through their health plan gives them a headache. 
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Over the years, nearly one-quarter of seniors have selected a health care plan that they weren’t happy with.

That’s according to a survey of 2,000 Americans 65+ who have healthcare. Results also found that a similar number (24%) have chosen a plan simply because it was the cheapest option.

Over the years, nearly one-quarter of seniors have selected a health care plan that they weren’t happy with. ANDRES PIACQUADIO/PEXELS

But today, seniors tend to prioritize plans that cover what they need, regardless of the cost rather than focusing only on the price tag (54% vs 34%).

Despite the average respondent having the same healthcare plan for five years, 50% say reading through it gives them a headache.

But all those years must have taught them something as 86% of seniors believe they are knowledgeable about their current plan.

Though when asked what terms they’d need to research, words like “deductible” (27%), “out-of-pocket limit” (26%) and “co-payment” (26%) ranked at the top of the list.

Over the years, nearly one-quarter of seniors have selected a health care plan that they weren’t happy with. PEXELS

Conducted by OnePoll for ClearMatch Medicare, the survey found that 41% of respondents have no idea how much money they’d need to spend if they had to go to the doctor for an emergency right now.

Furthermore, a little more than one-third (34%) are often hit with unexpected costs after receiving medical care.

Over the past year, those unexpected costs set seniors back an average of over $550 ($555.60).

Twenty percent of seniors even admit that an unplanned medical expense has caused them not to be able to pay bills at least once over the years.

When thinking about the amount of unplanned money they’ve forked over, seniors feel frustrated (27%), annoyed (22%) and even worried (21%).

“Between unexpected bills and confusing, costly plans, seniors have their work cut out for them. It’s important to not only choose a plan that works financially, but to also helps cut down on unexpected costs,” said Ben Pajak, CEO of ClearMatch Medicare, a part of HealthPlanOne, LLC. “It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the options during open enrollment. It would be beneficial to sit down with a trusted licensed agent to review all options and help you choose the one that is right for them.”

Though only 11% of respondents are planning to switch their healthcare plan during open enrollment this year, 79% know when it starts.

During previous enrollment periods, seniors have spent time researching plans online to ensure they select the right one (35%) and discussed their options with a licensed insurance agent (33%).

Almost two in five (39%) admit they’re likely to just “click through” annual enrollment options without truly reading them.

This may be because 54% of seniors feel overwhelmed by the number of options offered during enrollment.

Currently, one-third (32%) of seniors have more healthcare-related needs than they did last year.

“It’s clear that seniors are overwhelmed with their healthcare options and with increasing healthcare needs, it’s important that they are covered in the areas they need most,” said Jennifer Girdler, Vice President of Sales. “The Annual Enrollment Period runs through December 7, which gives seniors plenty of time to review their options and find an insurance plan that will fit their budget and healthcare needs.”

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 Americans 65+ who have health care was commissioned by ClearMatch Medicare between Oct. 5 and Oct. 11, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

Produced in association with SWNS Research

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