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New Research Finds Many Seniors Wrongly Think Public Health Insurance Exchanges Are Replacing Medicare Plans
Date:9/17/2013

ST. LOUIS, Sept. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As the nation approaches open enrollment for new public health insurance exchanges and Medicare, a new survey shows major misconceptions among seniors over how healthcare reform impacts Medicare benefits. This knowledge gap, coupled with fear about the affordability of healthcare, could lead seniors to make poor Medicare enrollment and health decisions.

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Fifty States of Confusion, a new national survey of those age 65 and older finds that one-in-five seniors mistakenly thinks they can enroll in a medical and prescription drug plan through a health insurance exchange, even though the eligibility age ends at 65. Another 17 percent believe health exchanges could replace their Medicare plan altogether.  

While seniors may not be clear about Medicare and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), they are convinced their healthcare dollars must be better managed. The survey revealed nearly half of seniors are making changes to ensure they can afford their healthcare costs. Of the 46 percent who are making changes: 78 percent are adjusting their budgets, and 40 percent are considering temporary employment. However, 20 percent are skipping doctor's appointments, 18 percent are delaying medication refills, and 14 percent are skipping medication doses — all poor choices that could cause more harm.

"The conflicting chatter about healthcare reform has seniors confused about what actions they need to take this fall and concerned about their finances," said Rebecca Rabbitt, PharmD, Vice President, Government Programs at Express Scripts. "We need to close this knowledge gap so seniors can make informed decisions about their health and their Medicare benefits."

In August 2013, Express Sc
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SOURCE Express Scripts
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