Health Insurance Needs Worry Older Americans

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Health Insurance Needs Worry Older Americans

Nearly 70 percent of older Americans endorse the concept of individual health savings accounts to help cover medical expenses in their later years, a new survey finds.

The accounts would involve setting aside 1 percent of income to h andle expenses not covered by Medicare, the federal insurance program for people aged 65 or older.

The survey also found that a majority of those interviewed expressed support for being able to buy into Medicare before they turn 65.

It Won’t Be Easy Without Health Insurance

Many older Americans are facing a bleak picture as they enter retirement. Not only do they often struggle with chronic health problems, but their wages are stagnant, health costs are rising and retiree health benefits are declining.

Fifty-three percent of respondents who worked or had a working spouse said they would not have job-based health benefits when they retired. According to researchers, 12 million older adults are currently uninsured or have had histories of unstable coverage.

It Takes Money To Have Health Insurance

Twenty-four percent of adults aged 50 to 65 said they have not filled a prescription, seen a doctor or specialist, or gotten a medical test or follow-up treatment due to the costs involved. more than one-third said they had a problem paying medical bills in the past year, or were still paying off medical debt from the last three years.

All of this is taking a toll on confidence. Only 15 percent of respondents aged 50 to 64 and 22 percent of those aged 65 to 70 felt they would have enough income and savings for retirement. Almost two-thirds worried they would not be able to afford medical care and health insurance in their later years.