Costs Medicare Beneficiaries are Most Concerned About

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, many Medicare beneficiaries are worried about more than just their increased health risk or predisposition to contracting the virus. Large, unexpected medical expenses are more a factor now than ever.

A survey by polled more than 1,000 elderly (64-years-old and older) individuals to determine their views on several topics related to Medicare and healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results suggest a majority of current and pre-beneficiaries are worried most about out-of-pocket costs (66 percent) and unexpected medical bills (62 percent). In the United States, there have been 6.5 million cases of COVID-19 and 193,721 deaths.

About 35 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are worried about surprise medical bills if they contract COVID-19. If hospitalized through an in-network provider, a doctor who tends to the patient might not have a pre-existing agreement with your insurer; thus, bills the patient the full amount. Some Advantage Plans have temporarily waived the cost of treating COVID-19. However, the average price to treat a patient infected with the virus is $30,000. Generally, these surprise medical bills are infrequent, as the costs of treating a patient are partially covered by insurance. The specific amount, however, varies depending on their individual coverage.

Basic Medicare entails Part A (hospital coverage) and Part B (outpatient care/medical equipment), which are both associated with monetary costs. Since Part A does not include a premium (paid into the system through taxes), it does come with a deductible and copays for extended hospital stays. Part B does include a premium, deductible, and cost-sharing. These and other out-of-pocket costs worry most Medicare beneficiaries (66 percent), as stated above.

Fifty percent of Medicare beneficiaries have money set aside for their children or family to use for their health needs. Another 36 percent of the same beneficiaries have put off seeing a doctor due to costs associated with the visit.

At Omega Benefit Strategies, we understand the metrics of Medicare fees. We strive to provide the best Medicare options for your senior members. To learn more about the concerns of Medicare beneficiaries, read this article from CNBC.

Omega Benefit Strategies provides senior credit union members an educational resource for Medicare. Our turnkey marketing package seamlessly integrates with existing market strategies. We can help businesses increase new member acquisitions, bolster retention, cross-sell opportunities via our “scorecard” system, and even earn an ancillary revenue stream. Accommodating any size membership, we maintain exemplary member service and offer top-notch products.

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