Live polling results:This survey hasn't concluded but here's how the results look based on the responses of our participants.
For many Americans, the transition to Medicare brings a sense of relief, as the coverage may be more comprehensive and less restrictive than a previous health insurance plan. But Medicare premiums and out-of-pocket costs can still add up – and may be higher than new Medicare enrollees had anticipated.
A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis determined that the average Medicare beneficiary spent nearly $5,500 on healthcare costs in 2016, including premiums. (It’s noteworthy that the single largest category of spending was for long-term care, which is not covered by Medicare.)
Medicare is a federally run program, so there’s quite a bit of uniformity in terms of the coverage bought by Medicare’s 63 million beneficiaries. But there’s also a good deal of variation: More than four out of ten beneficiaries have opted for private Medicare Advantage plans, and the rest have a variety of supplemental coverage, including Medigap plans, employer-sponsored plans, and Medicaid.
And of course, out-of-pocket costs also depend on how much medical care a person needs during the year. Some people have high costs year after year due to ongoing medical needs, while others might have low costs most years and a single high-cost year every now and then, due to unforeseen medical needs.
How does your healthcare spending compare with your expectations?
In our latest survey, we’d like to know how your healthcare costs as a Medicare enrollee compare as with the expectations you had before you enrolled. Maybe you’re brand new to Medicare and just getting a feel for how much you’ll spend. Maybe you’ve already been on Medicare for years with the same coverage. Whatever your situation, we’re curious to know whether the amount you’re spending on healthcare is roughly in line with what you expected.
Tell us: If you’re enrolled in Medicare, how do your total healthcare expenses compare with what you expected? Please consider any costs you have, including premiums, deductibles, copays, pharmacy expenses, dental/vision costs, and even long-term care costs if applicable.
- My healthcare spending is roughly what I expected it to be.
- My healthcare spending is higher than I had expected.
- My healthcare spending is lower than I had expected.
And if you have additional feedback or thoughts, please include them in the comments section below. Curious about the results of our previous surveys? You can start here, and use the “next post” button to see all of them.