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Issue 11
Spring 2006

Helping America procrastinate since 1636

March 04, 2024

Study: Most Seniors Confused by Medicare Benefits, World Around Them

CAMBRIDGE, MA - A nationwide survey of America’s senior citizens has suggested that close to 6 in 10 seniors have almost no idea which Medicare benefits they should select. Prescription drug plans and health insurance offerings were frequently cited sources of confusion. Even more depressing, noted Jim Schlesinger, a professor at the Johns Hopkins school of Public Health and the lead author on the study, is that "nearly 7 in 10 seniors have almost no idea of who they are, where they live, or what they ate for breakfast."

During the course of the survey, researchers first attempted to establish whether seniors had a basic understanding of federal health care offerings. Next, researchers attempted to find out whether seniors had even the slightest understanding of the world around them. According to Adam Crutchfield, a co-author on the study, "We found that there was a statistically significant correlation between failing to understand one’s own health care options and failing to remember one’s own first name, or what century it was."

"It would appear that polling America’s senior citizens is a poor means of determining whether health care offerings are, in fact, confusing," concluded Crutchfield. "My preoccupation now is whether road signs could be made less confusing," he added.  HSP 





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