retirement horizons

Many Seniors Are Unprepared to Maintain Independence as They Age

Confusion About Medicare Options, Uncertainty Regarding the ACA and Concerns Related to Healthcare Affordability Contribute to Increasing Anxiety Among Seniors

LONG BEACH, Calif., May 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — SCAN, a leading senior-focused organization with the mission of keeping seniors healthy and independent, today announced comprehensive survey results that show many seniors are unprepared to live independently as they age.

SCAN’s research shows 79 percent of U.S. seniors are concerned about healthcare or other issues impacting their ability to live independently in their own homes over the long term, 54 percent are concerned about their ability to afford healthcare and 52 percent believe Medicare will be affected if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. Almost three in 10 indicated they feel less prepared to live independently in their own homes as they age than they did 12 months ago. Survey results also reveal 79 percent of seniors are more concerned about the future of Medicare than they were one year ago.

“While most of us want to remain as independent as possible as we age, it’s troubling that a significant number of U.S. seniors are not confident they will be able to do so,” stated SCAN CEO Chris Wing. “With nearly one in three seniors feeling less prepared to live independently than they did even one year ago, our survey shows their concerns range from healthcare affordability and quality to access to the care they need.”

Healthcare concerns top the list…

SCAN surveyed 1,000 nationally representative U.S. adults age 64 and older, in late April 2017. Notable results include:

  • Of those concerned about their ability to live independently as they age, 54 percent worry about their ability to afford healthcare, 34 percent are anxious about the quality of care they will receive and 25 percent have concerns about access to care
  • Fully 84 percent of seniors sometimes have difficulty understanding their Medicare options, with 9 percent stating they have difficulty all the time
  • While 74 percent of respondents feel uninformed about one or more areas related to Medicare coverage, 34 percent feel most uninformed about the various Medicare coverage plans and 20 percent feel most uninformed about long-term care coverage

“No matter how the healthcare debate in Washington resolves itself, it’s worrisome so many seniors lack clear understanding about Medicare and their options for coverage,” added Wing. “Today’s healthcare landscape can be complex, but it’s disconcerting to note 40 percent of seniors incorrectly believe that once they reach eligibility age, they become automatically enrolled in Medicare. With so many seniors expressing concerns related to living independently, , it’s obvious there is work to be done to ensure people have what they need to age on their own terms.”



About SCAN
SCAN is a not-for-profit organization committed to keeping seniors healthy and independent. That’s been our mission since our founding in 1977. Today we deliver on that mission through SCAN Health Plan, one of the largest not-for-profit Medicare Advantage plans in the nation. Independence at Home, a SCAN community service, provides vitally needed services and support to seniors, disabled adults and their caregivers. SCAN also offers education programs, community funding, volunteer opportunities and other community services throughout our California service area. To learn more, visit or or follow us on twitter @scanhealthplan.