August 25

Study Finds Medicare Beneficiaries Fear Surprise Medical Bills More Than Anything Else

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A majority of Medicare beneficiaries are worried about getting a surprise medical bill according to a recent study.

Medicare beneficiaries were asked about their biggest fears concerning their Original Medicare coverage (Medicare Part A and Part B), which is the nation’s largest health care plan. Receiving a surprise medical bill topped the list, with 63 percent of responses.

Other fears near the top of the list for Medicare beneficiaries included:

  • Their health care provider not being in-network (38 percent)
  • Not being able to pay their deductible (35 percent)
  • Not being able to pay their copayment or coinsurance costs (29 percent)

Medicare Advantage enrollees worry about out-of-pocket costs more than Medicare Supplement enrollees: 38% of Medicare Advantage enrollees said they worry about deductibles, compared to 29% of Medicare Supplement enrollees. Similarly, Medicare Advantage enrollees were more likely to cite worries about copays than those enrolled in Medicare Supplement (34% vs. 22%).

In addition, 34% of MA enrollees are worried about their copay compared with 22% for supplement plan holders.

Women and higher-income respondents are more concerned about provider networks: 33% of women said coverage of their preferred providers was their top concern, compared to 28% of men; 47% of those with an income of $100,000 or more per year cited coverage of network providers as their top concerns, compared to only 25% of those with an income of less than $25,000

However, premiums were not as big of a deal for MA enrollees. Only 18% of MA plan holders were concerned about their monthly premium compared with 23% for Medicare supplement plan holders.

The study was based on a voluntary survey of consumers who enrolled in Medicare plans. The survey was conducted in January 2020 and a total of 1,086 responses were received. All figures were rounded to the nearest full percentage point. Total percentages may add to slightly more or less than 100 due to rounding.

Taking the Fear out of Medicare Enrollment

As a Medicare broker and agency Lehigh Partners Senior Benefits can help you narrow down your options and pick the best one for your unique situation. To do this, we learn about your health goals and budget.  For each plan, we'll make sure that your doctors, pharmacy and specialists are in network and your prescriptions are covered.  We will present you with options to meet your goals within your budget. We can help you enroll in the plan you choose.

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Need help?  Contact Lehigh Partners Senior Benefits: 1-833-265-9655 (TTY 711).  Get Coverage Recommendations. Tell us a little about your insurance and health care needs, and we'll will recommend Medicare insurance coverage options that may be a good fit for you.

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