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Most US adults worry about future of Medicare, Social Security, Gallup poll finds: ‘Magnitude of concern’

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Most US adults worry about future of Medicare, Social Security, Gallup poll finds: ‘Magnitude of concern’

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Adults in the U.S. are more worried than ever about whether Medicare and Social Security benefits will be available when they need them.

In response to a Gallup poll released in June, 75% of adults age 65 and younger said they are “worried” or “extremely worried” about lack of Medicare availability, according to a press release.

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When it comes to Social Security benefits, 80% of survey respondents said the same.

HEALTH CARE IS ‘OVERWHELMINGLY COMPLEX’ FOR OLDER ADULTS, EXPERTS SAY: ‘EVER-INCREASING HURDLE’

Both of those percentages have increased since the last poll in 2022.

The data came from the West Health-Gallup 2024 Survey on Aging in America, which polled 5,149 adults 18 and older between November 2023 and January 2024.

In response to a Gallup poll released last month, 75% of adults 65 and younger said they are “worried” or “extremely worried” about lack of Medicare availability. (iStock)

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The older the respondents, the more likely they were to consider Social Security and Medicare important — 87% of adults 65 or older said they were the “highest priority” programs, twice as many compared to those between 18 and 29 years of age, according to the results.

The poll also found that more than half of Americans are “somewhat more likely” or “much more likely” to make voting decisions based on their support of programs that affect older adults — and among adults 65 and older, that figure rises to 77%.

“The overwhelming majority of people do not think the U.S. is doing enough to address the needs of its growing aging population.”

Timothy Lash, president of West Health, a California nonprofit focused on health care and aging that partnered with Gallup to conduct the poll, said the findings showed the “magnitude of concern” people have about aging.

“High and rising concerns over the future viability of Medicare and Social Security and the high cost of health care dominate people’s thinking on aging,” Lash told Fox News Digital via email. 

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The older the respondents, the more likely they were to consider Social Security and Medicare important, the poll found. (iStock)

“The overwhelming majority of people do not think the U.S. is doing enough to address the needs of its growing aging population.”

By 2034, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that adults 65 and older will outnumber children under 18 for the first time, he noted.

What can people do?

Those who are concerned should communicate with their policymakers and elected officials, Lash advised.

“A whopping two-thirds of Americans feel the country is not prepared to address the overall needs of its rapidly growing older population, and these concerns may influence who they vote for in upcoming elections,” he said.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE HELPS PREDICT SENIORS’ LONG-TERM CARE NEEDS: ‘CRITICAL NEXT STEPS’

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Among increasing concerns over health care affordability and the future of Medicare and Social Security, Lash said, “Americans need to look at who is going to rein in the high cost of health care and protect and strengthen safety net programs for future seniors.” 

As the aging population continues to grow, Lash emphasized the importance of addressing their needs and challenges.

“It’s up to all of us to work to reduce the concerns over aging and raise the promise and hope of growing older in America,” he added.

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As the aging population continues to grow, an expert emphasized the importance of addressing its needs and challenges. (iStock)

Whitney Stidom, vice president of Medicare Operations at eHealth in Salt Lake City, said she was not surprised by the Gallup poll’s findings.

“As we enter the last few months of the election [season], candidates from both parties should be clear that it’s not only seniors who care about the future of Medicare — younger people care, too,” Stidom told Fox News Digital via email.

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“It’s up to all of us to work to reduce the concerns over aging and raise the promise and hope of growing older in America.”

In a March survey by eHealth, 78% of millennials and Gen Xers identified Medicare as a “top-three” voting issue, and 84% said they were willing to contribute more in payroll taxes to ensure its future, according to Stidom.

      

“We are anticipating unprecedented volatility in the Medicare Advantage marketplace due to continued financial pressures within the entire health care industry, regulatory changes, and the inevitable sticker shock that consumers will see when their plan notices of change arrive in the mail come September’s annual enrollment period,” she said.

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To help avoid cost increases or loss of certain benefits in 2025, Stidom encourages seniors to review their Plan Notice of Change letters carefully as soon as they arrive — and to go over their options with a trusted, licensed adviser.

CMS

“Medicare provides a crucial lifeline for over 65 million Americans who depend on this vital program for their health care needs,” the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services told Fox News Digital in a statement. (Getty Images)

“Don’t wait until the last minute to make selections for next year,” she added.

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When contacted by Fox News Digital, a spokesperson for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provided the following statement.

“Medicare provides a crucial lifeline for over 65 million Americans who depend on this vital program for their health care needs. The Biden-Harris Administration has taken many actions to strengthen Medicare while improving its sustainability, and has proposed enhancements that would extend its solvency while strengthening benefits. CMS is committed to protecting Medicare now and for future generations.”

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Dietitians Reveal the 3 Types of Foods You Should Avoid While on Semaglutide To Speed Weight Loss

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Dietitians Reveal the 3 Types of Foods You Should Avoid While on Semaglutide To Speed Weight Loss



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