Poll Finds One-quarter of Seniors Have Healthcare Cost Concerns

BOSTON — A poll conducted by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health finds that more than one-quarter of seniors age 65 and older are dissatisfied with their healthcare costs, and 23{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} say it has gotten harder to pay for healthcare over the past five years. Both concerns are higher among seniors who report poor health or a disability.

The poll found that 81{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of respondents were somewhat or very satisfied with the Commonwealth’s healthcare system. Those satisfaction levels exceeded 90{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} when seniors were asked about the care they had received during their last visit to a physician’s office or their most recent hospital stay.

Despite strong overall satisfaction with the state’s healthcare system, many seniors lack confidence they will have enough money or insurance to pay for healthcare in the future. This is particularly true for older adults in households living on $25,000 or less per year, about one-third (36{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5}) of whom lack confidence in their future ability to pay. In contrast, only 10{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of seniors in households living on $50,000 or more per year cite this concern.

“These findings suggest that, while seniors in Massachusetts, by and large, have access to affordable healthcare, there are still unresolved concerns regarding their ability to pay for the care that they receive,” said Audrey Shelto, president of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation. “We believe the data will help policymakers focus their efforts as they try to help those of limited means obtain and pay for the care they need.”