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Medicare Blog | Medicare News | Medicare Information

Consumers Concerned About the Impact of the Pandemic on Their Wallets, Study Shows

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Fri, May 15, 2020 @ 03:32 PM

Consumers Concerned About the Impact of the Pandemic on Their Wallets, Study Shows

While many privately insured members expect to increase their healthcare spending due to coronavirus, almost an equal amount say they will skip their annual exam.


Coronavirus is changing member and beneficiary healthcare spending habits, including increased telehealth utilization and but lower overall healthcare utilization, a recent PwC Health Research Institute's (HRI's) consumer survey found.

The survey collected data on consumer perspectives about the healthcare landscape before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, including their use of health services and thoughts about how they will interact with the health system in the future.

Delayed doctor visits, procedures and prescriptions could have long-term impacts on health, productivity and costs

Consumers are concerned about the impact of the pandemic on their health and wallets, and are behaving accordingly. Thirty-two percent of survey respondents told HRI that they had already made or were planning adjustments to their spending on healthcare visits as a result COVID-19.

Consumers with exchange plans (45%) or private plans (50%) directly through an insurer were more likely to report that they were adjusting spending on healthcare visits (see figure).

Seventy-eight percent of consumers adjusting their spending said they would skip at least one visit such as a well visit, maintenance visit for a chronic illness, elective procedure or recommended lab test or screening.

Thirty percent predicted that their spending on healthcare visits would increase overall. Implications: Delaying procedures, reducing spending on preventive care and chronic care, and decreasing adherence to medications may have negative long-term impacts on health status, although the extent is unknown.

Healthcare Spending amid CV19 -1

Medicare consumers more likely than others to be skipping routine visits for chronic illness, tests or screenings and electives

Of the consumers who said they already have or plan to adjust their spending on healthcare visits, the privately insured (42%) were more likely than those with public insurance (28%) to say they would skip an annual physical.

Medicare consumers were more likely to say they would skip some of their routine visits for a chronic illness or an elective procedure.

Consumers with a private plan purchased directly from an insurer were more likely (41%) than all other consumers to say they expected to increase their spending on healthcare visits.

Implications: Getting consumers to come back for care may depend on how much trust the health system can build with them over the next few months.

Helping newly unemployed consumers find insurance through Medicaid, ACA insurance exchanges and other means should be a priority for the health system.

Healthcare Spending Amid CV19-2

Read The Full Report:


Tags: health care costs

Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment May top 3% in 2019

Posted by www.psmbrokerage.com Admin on Tue, Jun 19, 2018 @ 10:58 AM


Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment

May top 3% in 2019

The annual Social Security (SS) cost-of-living adjustment for 2019 could top 3%. That would be the largest increase in seven years, according to The Senior Citizens League, a nonpartisan advocacy group.

A 3% cost of living adjustment (COLA) in 2019 would be the biggest annual hike since 2012, when SS benefits grew by 3.6%. This year the COLA was 2%. If Social Security benefits increase next year, Medicare premiums for the typical retiree may also rise.

A "hold harmless" provision – enjoyed by about 70% of beneficiaries who have Medicare premiums deducted from their SS – prohibits annual increases in Part B premiums from exceeding the dollar amount of the COLA increase in annual SS benefits. Part B premiums are normally deducted directly from Social Security benefits.


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Tags: health care costs, Life Insurance

Risks In Retirement: Don't Forget About Health Care Costs

Posted by Jeremy Davis on Fri, Jul 25, 2014 @ 09:19 AM

blog pic

“What’s the biggest risk to your financial security in retirement?” Whenever I ask that question, what I hear most often is that people are concerned about whether or not their money will last. Many pre-retirees don’t budget for unexpected medical expenses that can pose a threat to their retirement income plan. The Employee Benefit Research Institute estimates that a couple, both 65, retiring today with median prescription drug expenses needs $151,000 (in today’s dollars) to have a 50 percent chance of meeting their health care costs in retirement, not including long-term care costs. A couple with $255,000 in savings would have a 90 percent chance of covering those costs.

Why the Disconnect?
In my experience, many pre-retirees mistakenly believe that Medicare, the federal health insurance program for those aged 65 and older, will cover the vast majority of their health care expenses in retirement. Not so.

In reality, Medicare doesn’t cover many of the health care expenses older Americans use most. I’m talking about vision and dental care, hearing aids and eyeglasses. And Medicare Part D plans vary widely when it comes to prescription coverage. I remember feeling sticker shock when I helped my mom and stepdad pay their monthly pharmacy bill. Millions of Americans take blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis and other commonly prescribed medications to stay healthy and out of the hospital. These aren’t health care costs you can dial back on to save money.

Offer Your Clients Competitive Dental, Vision, & Hearing Plans


Source: forbes.com

Additional Updates:

Tags: Risks in retirement, health care costs, employee benefit research institute, medico insurance, dental hearing and vision insurance

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