Nervous, indifferent, overwhelmed: how baby boomers feel about Medicare, in one chart

Seniors groups vociferously back Medicare against any cuts in Washington, typically. But when it comes to the process of actually enrolling in Medicare, it’s a bit of a different story. A new survey from the National Council on Aging and UnitedHealthcare finds that seniors are largely “indifferent” and “nervous” about signing up for Medicare:


A lot of this is wrapped up in the fact that Medicare has become really, really complicated. Only a third of the boomers that NCOA and United surveyed could identify what Medicare Part A covers (hospitalizations); 68 percent didn’t venture a guess as to what Medicare Part C does (it’s more commonly known as Medicare Advantage, the privately run, managed-care alternative to traditional coverage). Over the past five decades, Medicare has grown from a basic insurance plan for hospitalizations and doctors visits to a sprawling coverage plan with four different parts, Medicare Parts A through D. Figuring out how to navigate that system can be a daunting task.

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