Older Americans Content With Insurance, Coverage

July 30, 2001 (PLANSPONSOR.com) Older Americans are surprisingly satisfied with the costs and services covered by insurance, but younger workers are another matter, according to a new survey.

Forty-one percent of those under age 65 were not satisfied with the costs of services not covered by insurance, compared with just 19% of those over age 65. More than a third (35%) of those under age 65 were not satisfied with the cost of health insurance, compared with just 23% of those over that age, according to the preliminary results of research from the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI), Consumer Health Education Council (CHEC), and Mathew Greenwald & Associates.

Just 5% of those over age 65 were not satisfied with their ability to choose their doctor or get referrals to specialists, compared with 19% and 17%, respectively, of those under age 65.

However, 41% of those 65 and older were concerned about their ability to afford prescription drugs over the next decade, according to the study.

Unknown Quantity

By and large, Americans were not familiar with the eligibility requirements for Medicare, the nation’s health insurance program for the elderly and disabled. Just 38% knew the eligibility age was 65, while nearly a third (32%) did not know.

However, a full 61% of those over age 55 knew the eligibility age, while more than half (51%) of those under age 35 didn’t have a clue. The age requirement has remained constant since the program’s establishment in 1965.

A fact sheet of the findings from the 2001 Health Confidence Survey (HCS) is currently online at http://www.ebri.org/facts/0701fact.pdf . The full HCS survey results will be released this fall.