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Report Shows Medicare Beneficiaries Satisfied with Coverage

2019 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey Early Look shows beneficiaries are satisfied with access to and quality of coverage

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April 22, 2021 – The 2019 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey’s (MCBS) preliminary report was released. The Early Look shows that Medicare beneficiaries were in good health and satisfied with their Medicare coverage.

The MCBS pulls data from a CMS survey of Medicare beneficiaries. Those eligible for the MCBS survey must live in the community and not a long-term care facility. With data from 2019, this survey provides a unique, in-depth look at the state of Medicare beneficiaries before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

Medicare Beneficiary Population

According to the report, the majority of Medicare beneficiaries living in the community and white non-Hispanic (75%), live in English-speaking households (88%) and are between 65 and 84 years of age (76%).

The table below shows the selected demographic characteristics of survey participants living in the community.

Medicare Beneficiaries Chart

As the table above shows, there is a fairly even split between sex. 54.5% are female, while 45.5% are male. The majority of Medicare beneficiaries living in the community are also not veterans. Just 18.5% of the population previously served in the armed forces.

According to the report, “The MCBS is the most comprehensive and complete survey available on the Medicare population.” This report is essential in capturing data that would not be collected otherwise.

MCBS Preliminary Estimates of Health Status

The MCBS also looked at the self-reported health status of Medicare beneficiaries in 2019. Preliminary estimates show that over 75% of participants reported having good, very good, or excellent health.

As a follow-up, respondents were also asked about their health status compared to 2018. 62% responded that their health was about the same as a year ago. Just over 19% reported having somewhat better or better health than they did in 2018.

Still, some Medicare beneficiaries did face difficulties. Almost 50% of beneficiaries reported having at least one disability. Physically, 29% reported they had difficulty walking or climbing stairs while one in ten had serious difficulty dressing and bathing. Just over 17% reported that they had difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions.

Medicare Beneficiaries Satisfied with Access to Care

The MCBS also looked at access to health care. An overwhelming 92% reported having no issue getting care.

Nine in ten Medicare beneficiaries also did not experience delayed care due to costs.  As a follow-up, 80% reported that they were satisfied with the cost of care.

Looking at cost data, it is important to note that this is the population living in the community and not at a long-term care facility. Long-term care facility expenses accounted for 32 percent of out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. 

Quality of Care Statistics

Finally, the MCBS assessed satisfaction of care. Overwhelmingly, over nine in ten Medicare beneficiaries reported that they were satisfied with their general care in 2019.

Care Statistics chart

As the table above shows, 92.9% were also satisfied with the ease of access to a doctor. Overall, these preliminary findings from the 2019 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey look promising.

To view the entire preliminary report, click here.

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The VBP Blog is a comprehensive resource for all things related to value-based payments. Up-to-date news, informative webinars, and relevant blogs in the VBP sphere to help your organization find success.