According to the outcome of a study performed by Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement, a startling number of retired individuals in the middle-income bracket who are on Medicare either do not understand or they misunderstand the costs and coverage provided by the program, which can lead to unexpected expenses.
The research, whose findings were included in the report entitled “Retirement Healthcare for Middle-Income Americans”, examined data regarding 400 pre-Medicare individuals in the baby boomer generation (aged 47 to 64), as well as 400 adults in the generation older than that (aged 65 to 75) who have an annual income of $25,000 to $75,000.
What the researchers determined was that one in three individuals enrolled in Medicare were not aware of how much coverage was provided for hospitalization (31 percent) or visits to the doctor (33 percent), which make up the basic level of the benefits provided by the program.
This research also discovered that almost half (49 percent) of the enrollees didn’t understand the coverage that the program provides for hearing and vision care, which are both services that are not generally included in Medicare coverage.
Among all of the forms of coverage available through Medicare, the least understood was long-term care. That form of protection was also found to be the largest perceived threat to a middle-income individual’s financial security. Two thirds of Medicare enrollees could not say whether or not there was long-term care coverage provided by the program, or they had overestimated the coverage that it does provide.
It is recommended that Medicare enrollees get to know what coverage is provided to them through the program, and to consider whether or not low-cost supplemental coverage, such as cancer insurance, will be appropriate for their needs to fill the gap.