Study Finds Alarming Number of Boomers Lack Basic Understanding of Medicare Program

PRNewswire:  CHICAGO, Feb. 27, 2012. More than half (56 percent) of America’s middle-income Boomers admit to knowing little or almost nothing about the Medicare program and one in seven (13 percent) falsely believe Medicare is free,  the latest study released by the Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement (SM) (CSR) reveals.

The CSR’s Retirement Healthcare for Middle-Income Americans study of 400 pre-Medicare Boomers (age 47 to 64) and 400 older adults (age 65 to 75) with income between $25,000 and $75,000, found that nearly three-fourths (72 percent) of Boomers did not know that most Americans on Medicare pay a monthly premium, co-pays and deductibles.

Moreover, two thirds (62 percent) of Boomers, even those within a few years of turning 65, do not understand what their health insurance benefit will be for doctor visits and hospitalization once they are on Medicare.   And more than one-quarter (27 percent) could not venture a guess on how much they think they will pay for healthcare once on Medicare versus what they pay today.

Although Boomers cite uncovered healthcare expenses (80 percent) and becoming ill (74 percent) as their top financial concerns about retirement, many appear to be taking a “learn as you go” approach to understanding Medicare’s coverage and costs— waiting until they are using the program to investigate how it works.  Read more