On Medicare But Still At Risk

eAlert 731fdde1-572d-47c3-be74-33a8f423b9d6

<p>While Medicare provides essential coverage to seniors and people with disabilities, there are no limits on out-of-pocket costs. And its coverage does not extend to dental, hearing, vision, or long-term care. As a result, out-of-pocket costs can be high relative to income, especially for lower-income beneficiaries.</p><p>One of four Medicare beneficiaries, or 11.5 million people, were underinsured in 2013–14, meaning they spent a high share of income on medical costs, according to a new brief based on U.S. Census surveys by Cathy Schoen, a 2016 senior scholar in residence at the New York Academy of Medicine, and researchers from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Beneficiaries were considered underinsured if they spent 10 percent or more of their income on health care services, excluding premiums, or 5 percent or more of income if they were below 200 percent of poverty.</p>
<p>“Our findings on beneficiary out-of-pocket costs highlight the need for targeted reforms that would ease these burdens, especially in light of the increased need for medical care as the Medicare population ages,” the authors said.</p>

http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/newsletters/ealerts/2016/may/on-medicare-but-still-at-risk Read the brief