Medicare proves to be a better elder care provider than private sector health insurance companies, according to a study conducted at The Commonwealth Fund. The researchers based their study on the results of The Commonwealth Fund Health Insurance Survey of 2010.
The results indicated only 8 percent of Medicare beneficiaries rated their coverage as poor or fair. Conversely, 33 percent of older adults who pay for private insurance themselves and 20 percent of those who are covered by their employers were unhappy with their coverage. Not only were Medicare patients more satisfied with the services, but the study also found those who had private insurance also had more out-of-pocket healthcare costs. Among those who paid for their own insurance, 39 percent passed up necessary care due to costs, 37 percent of individuals with employer-based insurance did the same and only 23 percent of those with Medicare skipped care for financial reasons.
"Medicare continues to do better than employer-sponsored and individual plans when it comes to providing people with good access to healthcare and adequate protection from burdensome medical bills," said senior researcher Kristof Stremikis of The Commonwealth Fund. "Policies designed to move the elderly out of Medicare and into private plans need to be carefully designed, so as not to expose beneficiaries to the poorer access to care currently experienced by many working-age adults with private insurance."
Choosing whether to stick with Medicare or opt for private insurance is a decision that should be carefully considered. It is important to weigh all the options and possibilities. Addressing issues before one moves to assisted living facilities or needs Alzheimer's care can help older adults and their loved ones choose the best health insurance policies for their personal situations.