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

ripts (NASDAQ: ESRX) commissioned Kelton, a research consultancy, to survey 1,101 seniors currently enrolled in a Medicare plan or who will be Medicare eligible within the next twelve months.

Eighty-six percent of survey respondents reported confusion about how healthcare reform will affect their Medicare prescription drug coverage. Among the notable misconceptions:

  • Nearly one-third of seniors (29 percent) believe the ACA raises the Medicare eligibility age, with 68 being the average age cited;
  • 52 percent falsely believe they're paying more for their prescription drugs in the Coverage Gap under healthcare reform; and
  • 65 percent do not know that Medicare enrollment begins in October.

Not only are seniors unclear about what's to come, many are uninformed about the changes healthcare reform has already had on the Medicare prescription drug program (Medicare Part D). Seventy-seven percent did not know that the Coverage Gap (or Donut Hole) is in the process of closing as a result of healthcare reform — a significant modification that substantially reduces a senior's out-of-pocket drug costs. 

"Many seniors are delaying refills and skipping doses to save money without realizing that, since 2010, Part D beneficiaries on average saved more than $1,000 when the Affordable Care Act began to lower the out-of-pocket maximum in the Coverage Gap," continued Rabbitt. "Their poor decisions could actually increase their healthcare costs, and more importantly, could affect their health."

Less than half (46%) of respondents feel knowledgeable about reform, but nearly all (89 percent) said they need access to more information about how healthcare reform will affect Medicare. To help seniors make better decisions, Expres
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SOURCE Express Scripts
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