Survey: 50% of Seniors and “Near-Seniors” Start the New Year with Financial Fear Housing costs, Rise of “surprise” ER charges, chronic health conditions compound financial worries New York, NY— Half of Americans over the age of 55 who earn less than $60,000 per year—accounting for 25% of households—feel they can’t afford to cover both housing and healthcare, according to a new survey conducted by The NHP Foundation, not-for-profit providers of affordable housing. WHERE SENIORS ARE FEELING THE PINCH 48% of seniors surveyed are “concerned to extremely concerned” that one costly emergency room visit will have devastating financial impact. The phenomenon of high “surprise” ER charges has prompted current Senate- sponsored bills to curtail outrageous fees. 75% have monthly prescription drug costs with 20% footing bills over $50.00 per month. Rising prescription drug costs have been likened to a cartel. Additionally, many in this income and age bracket have trouble affording medicines not entirely covered by private health insurance or Medicare Part D. 50% of respondents have a chronic health condition, requiring regular checkups, yet 25% put off recommended medical procedures or appointments due to monetary worries. Although Medicare typically covers 80% of costs (as do many private or ACA insurance plans), 20% of costs must still be paid, which can add up depending on prescribed treatments. 25% of those surveyed consider their health insurance burden only “somewhat or not manageable at all.” The recent Texas court ruling that the ACA is “unconstitutional” adds to the senior woes about affordable health care. WHAT’S THE BEST “PRESCRIPTION?” 50% of respondents ranked “stable housing” and “steady income” as the greatest factors to staying healthy yet the same percentage is “concerned to extremely concerned” about maintaining this stable housing as they age. This information dovetails with Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) recent look at older adult households. Housing America’s Older Adults 2018, which showed that 50% of all older renter households are cost-burdened and 41% of those 65+ still have mortgages.
THE NHP FOUNDATION: THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
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