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

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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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