61% of Seniors Surveyed Think Health Care Reform Bill Weakens Medicare; Yet 57% Will Take Advantage Of Free Physical Exam Included In Bill

On the eve of the first anniversary of the bill becoming law, survey reveals seniors’ varying opinions

SAN MATEO, Calif.--()--On the eve of the one-year anniversary of the health care reform bill, a survey of 321 seniors 65 and older revealed that 61%1 think the bill has weakened Medicare in the year since it became law. At the same time, 57% of those surveyed say they will take advantage of a free physical exam and personal wellness plan benefit included in the bill that went into effect this year.

Moreover, 73% of seniors surveyed think the health care bill will continue to weaken Medicare over the long term. When asked about attempts underway in the U.S. House of Representatives to defund the bill, 43% support defunding the bill entirely and 29% think only certain provisions of the bill should be defunded.

The survey was fielded from March 18-21, 2011 by Extend Health, Inc., which operates the nation’s largest private Medicare exchange. The results highlight seniors’ varying opinions and in some cases, misperceptions about the health care reform bill. As the bill stands now, it does not cut any Medicare benefits, and instead adds some benefits, including the previously mentioned free physical exam and other free preventative care services.

Bryce Williams, CEO of Extend Health said, “Clearly, many seniors are worried about their Medicare benefits and believe that health care reform threatens them. No one can predict the future, but the current bill actually strengthens Medicare benefits, and that’s the message that needs to get out so seniors can make informed decisions about their health care.”

The questions and detailed results from the survey are as follows:

 

What is your opinion of the overall impact of the health care reform bill on
Medicare in the ONE YEAR since the bill was signed into law?

     

The bill has weakened Medicare

60.8%

The bill has had no effect on Medicare

13.9%

The bill has strengthened Medicare

10.1%

I have no opinion

15.2%

 

What is your opinion of the overall long-term FUTURE impact that the health care
reform bill will have on Medicare?

 

The bill will weaken Medicare

72.4%

The bill will strengthen Medicare

13.3%

The bill will have no effect on Medicare

2.5%

I have no opinion

11.7%

 

Earlier this year, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on a bill that would have
repealed the health care reform law, but the bill was voted down when it was sent to
the U.S. Senate. Now, the House is trying to stop implementation of some provisions
of the law by not funding them. How do you feel about efforts to fund or not fund
certain provisions of the health care reform law?

 

I support defunding the entire bill

42.8%

I support efforts to defund certain provisions of the law

28.8%

I think there are more health care needs that should be added to the bill and funded

11.3%

I think the bill should remain intact and be funded in its entirety

7.2%

I do not support efforts to defund certain provisions of the law

4.7%

I have no opinion

5.3%

 

A new Medicare benefit that went into effect this year offers people covered by
Medicare a free full physical exam and a personal wellness plan that focuses on
prevention. What are your plans for taking advantage of this new benefit?

 

I definitely plan to have a free physical exam and personal wellness plan this year

40.0%

I have not decided yet whether to get a free physical exam and personal wellness plan this year

25.5%

I have already received a free physical exam and personal wellness plan this year

16.5%

I have no interest in this benefit

18.1%

 

Extend Health has helped more than 300,000 seniors compare and choose the private Medicare plans that best meets their needs and budgets. Extend Health is the only place seniors can compare more than 3,500 plans from 70 carriers side by side and find a plan that best meets their needs. Licensed benefit advisors are available to help seniors evaluate their Medicare coverage and explore new options quickly and easily.

About Extend Health:

Extend Health, Inc., founded in 2004, operates the largest private Medicare exchange in the country. For more information, visit Extend Health on the web at http://www.extendhealth.com.

1 For top line reporting purposes, Extend Health, Inc. rounds percentages up or down as appropriate.

Contacts

Media:
For Extend Health, Inc.
Rob Wyse, 212-920-1470
rob@WT221.com

Contacts

Media:
For Extend Health, Inc.
Rob Wyse, 212-920-1470
rob@WT221.com