PrescribeWellness Survey: Americans Don’t Choose Medicare Plan Until 65th Birthday but Prefer to Prepare Ahead of Time

Survey also revealed that men prepare more for healthcare upon turning 65 than women; Almost half agree that the process is confusing

IRVINE, Calif.--()--PrescribeWellness, the cloud-based services company whose mission is to inspire collaboration for better health, today announced the results of its 2017 Turning 65 Survival Guide survey. The survey, which was conducted by Propeller Insights on behalf of PrescribeWellness and fielded to 1,000 American adults aged 45+, gauged Americans’ feelings about healthcare upon turning 65 and the pain points Americans feel when choosing a Medicare or other healthcare plan.

When I’m 64…?

It turns out that the popular Beatles’ song rings true, because when they’re 64, Americans will choose their healthcare. The survey discovered that almost half of Americans choose their senior healthcare plan before they actually turn 65 (48 percent), and 29 percent choose it on their 65th birthday.

A small percentage will postpone the decision until after they turn 65 (8 percent), while 14 percent wait until they get a reminder.

Preparation Is Key

Additionally, when it comes to preparing for healthcare upon turning 65, PrescribeWellness discovered that men prepare more than women: 32 percent of women haven’t done any research, compared to 26 percent of men. The survey also found that the number one way Americans prepare is by researching Medicare and the secondary coverage they’ll need (25 percent). This is followed by:

  • Researching Medicare and other senior HMOs to decide what’s right—19 percent
  • Consulting with friends who are already 65 and have more knowledge—18 percent
  • Consulting with an insurance provider or speaking to their healthcare provider—10 percent

Choosing a Plan Causes Confusion

In the choice between Medicare versus a senior HMO, Medicare wins, with more than half of Americans choosing or planning to choose Medicare (56 percent) over an HMO like Scan (4 percent). Almost a quarter (23 percent) haven’t chosen or aren’t planning to choose either, while 17 percent admit that they don’t know anything about Medicare or an HMO.

Americans also agree that the most confusing part of choosing a healthcare plan at 65 is deciding which plan is right for them (49 percent). This is followed by:

  • Deciding between Medicare and a senior HMO like Scan—25 percent
  • Having to select a new healthcare provider to take my new plan—24 percent
  • Having to pay a larger co-pay for prescription drugs—20 percent
  • Having to find a new pharmacy to refill necessary medications—12 percent

More than a quarter (28 percent) say that the choice is not confusing.

Part D? Yes, Please!

The survey found that Americans actually know more about Part D plans than they think. When asked how aware Americans are about the need to enroll in a Part D plan in addition to Medicare Parts A and B, 69 percent admit to being aware of the need for a Part D, and 90 percent think it’s important to have a Part D plan that’s personal to them.

“These survey findings confirm that it’s difficult to choose the right healthcare plan when you turn 65 and that there are things that can make it easier, like having a trusted advisor walk you through the process,” said Al Babbington, CEO of PrescribeWellness. “Meeting with your community pharmacist can alleviate confusion and help you decide what’s best for you and your healthcare needs. PrescribeWellness arms these trusted advisors with the tools they need to help Americans through the process.”

About PrescribeWellness

PrescribeWellness inspires collaboration for better health across America by connecting patients to locally owned community pharmacies. Its proprietary cloud-based platform empowers pharmacists to provide more effective preventive health care services, which improve medication adherence, chronic disease management, transitions in care, and population health. With data integration and behavioral science at the foundation, PrescribeWellness software solutions position the pharmacist at the center of community healthcare prevention. Inc. 5000 named PrescribeWellness one of America’s Fastest Growing Privately-Held Companies for the past two years. For more information, please visit


for PrescribeWellness
Alessandra Nagy


for PrescribeWellness
Alessandra Nagy