Many non-retired older Americans need help understanding benefits
Employment plays a large role for older Americans when it comes to understanding their healthcare plans. According to the survey: more than half of non-retired older adults at least somewhat agree that they need help understanding their benefits once they have chosen a plan, compared to about two in five retired adults (54% vs. 41%, respectively); and more than three in five non-retired adults would like to work with a Medicare education counselor compared to fewer than half of retired adults (61% vs. 47%, respectively).
Women report challenges in managing their care; men ask for help
Detailed findings highlight unique attitudes and challenges that each gender experiences when it comes to understanding, affording, and accessing care.
According to the survey, women are more likely than men to report at least one challenge with navigating the healthcare system (65% vs. 52%, respectively), such as communicating effectively with their healthcare provider, knowing their health plan benefits, and understanding their diagnoses and treatments.
In addition, women are less likely than men to feel confident about having all the information they need to make health insurance decisions (77% vs. 84%, respectively). Men are more likely than women to agree that consulting their health insurance provider to better use the system would help them navigate the healthcare system better (31% vs. 23%, respectively).
Adult caregivers cite low confidence in navigating system
A complementary survey fielded by The Harris Poll among adult caregivers (U.S. adults ages 18+ who have care recipients) found this group has lower confidence navigating the healthcare system than older adults.
Specifically, the survey found that nearly eight in ten (79%) of caregivers believe that they would be better able to help the person they care for manage their health if they better understood their care recipient’s benefits.
Caregivers surveyed identified several options that would help them better navigate the healthcare system on behalf of individuals, including: talking to the person’s doctor; reading reviews and other self-help tools; and consulting the health insurance provider to which the person they’re caring for belongs.
Despite identifying several options that would help them better navigate the healthcare system, 77% of caregivers surveyed consider the health insurance provider of the person they care for as a partner in their healthy aging.