Does Your Senior Know what a ‘Deductible’ Is?

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At a life stage where having a clear understanding of healthcare is critical, nearly seven in 10 Medicare beneficiaries agree that Medicare insurance is confusing and difficult to understand. That’s according to a new Medicare literacy survey poll of 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries by

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Many of the respondents to a new Medicare literacy survey poll of 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries by didn’t seem to understand basic insurance-related terms.

More than half (56%) of respondents incorrectly answered the question “what is a deductible?” and 69% failed to correctly define the term “coinsurance.”

McKnight’s Business Daily’s recent article entitled “Nearly 6 in 10 seniors don’t understand what a deductible is” says that other responses indicated that many older adults don’t fully understand basic Medicare coverage and potential out-of-pocket expenses.

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for:

  • People who are 65 or older
  • Some younger people with disabilities; and
  • People with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, sometimes called ESRD).

Medicare gives you options in how you get your coverage. Once you enroll, you’ll need to determine the way in which you’ll get your Medicare coverage. There are two main ways: Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage.

More than 70% of respondents incorrectly believed that Medicare would tell them, if they’re not automatically enrolled.

The survey found that some seniors may approach Medicare age or even be already enrolled in Medicare, before they understand just how limited Medicare’s long-term care coverage can be.

It’s extremely important that Medicare beneficiaries – and all insurance beneficiaries– clearly understand their coverage and how it fits with their expected healthcare needs and budget.