Even Americans who have health insurance can struggle to pay for expenses like premiums, copayments, coinsurance, and uncovered health services. This includes many people with Medicare, both over and under age 65, many of whom cope with complex health care needs and live on fixed incomes. Faced with high out-of-pocket health costs and living expenses, a substantial number of Medicare beneficiaries are forced to choose between receiving needed care and paying for other essentials like food and utilities.
The downloadable chartpack presents findings from the Commonwealth Fund 2023 Health Care Affordability Survey, a new, nationally representative survey of 7,873 adults age 19 and older fielded from April 18 through July 31, 2023. Focusing on the experiences of the 1,978 Medicare beneficiaries included in the sample, the exhibits show that:
- One-third of Medicare beneficiaries said it was difficult to afford health care costs, including more than half of beneficiaries under age 65.
- More than one in five beneficiaries reported delaying or skipping needed health care because of the cost, including more than four in 10 under age 65.
- More than one in five beneficiaries said health care costs made it harder for them to afford food and utility bills, including more than four in 10 under age 65.
For more findings from the Commonwealth Fund 2023 Health Care Affordability Survey, see Paying for It: How Health Care Costs and Medical Debt Are Making Americans Sicker and Poorer.