Extend Health Survey: As Debate Continues over the Future of Medicare, Survey Reveals Seniors’ Q42011 Confidence in Medicare Declined to 62 percent from Previous Quarter High of 73 percent

At the end of a year in which confidence in Medicare steadily rose, respondents now less certain that Medicare will be there for the rest of their lives

A survey of 337 retirees on Medicare revealed that 62 percent of respondents are “somewhat” or “very” confident that Medicare will be there for the rest of their lives. These results compare with a confidence level of 73 percent when the same question was asked of seniors in a survey conducted in October 2011, and 69 percent and 57 percent when the same question was asked in surveys conducted in August and July, respectively.


The survey was fielded from December 22-26, 2011 by Extend Health Inc., which operates the nation’s largest private Medicare exchange. Nearly two-thirds of respondents have been retired from major US corporations for 10 years or more.


Said Bryce Williams of Extend Health Inc., “Over the past two years, we’ve been surveying seniors about their confidence in Medicare, which remained steady until last summer when confidence began to rise, peaking at 73 percent in last quarter’s survey. This current survey shows that nearly all of the 2011 confidence gains have been reversed. Confidence in Medicare appears to be sinking now that – given bipartisan support in Congress for controlling Medicare costs – change seems inevitable.”


Respondents also were asked how confident they are that Medicare will be there for the rest of their children's lives. Answers to this question revealed a small decrease in respondents’ confidence. In October 2011, 47 percent of respondents indicated they were “not confident” in Medicare being there for their children. In December, "not confident" responses rose to 50 percent.


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For survey results, click here.