Skip to main content

Older Americans worry they can't afford their own health care

·2 mins

What weighs most heavily on older adults’ minds when it comes to health care? The cost of services and therapies, and their ability to pay. Tens of millions of seniors are similarly anxious about being able to afford health care because of its expense and rising costs for housing, food, and other essentials. A new wave of research highlights the reach of these anxieties. When people aged 50 and older were asked about health-related issues, their top concerns had to do with the costs of medical care in general, long-term care, and prescription drugs. A significant number of older adults reported being very concerned about the cost of health insurance, Medicare, and dental care. Financial scams and fraud were also a top concern. The high cost of health care is particularly worrisome for older adults who have lower incomes and rely on fixed incomes. Many seniors have difficulty paying for health care expenses, including premiums for Medicare, medications, and medical services. Some older adults even have to forgo needed care due to financial reasons. The cost of long-term care options such as nursing homes and assisted living is also a burden for many older adults who cannot afford to pay for these expenses out-of-pocket. As health care costs rise, it becomes more challenging to afford basic necessities. The high cost of health care is a significant issue for older adults who are more prone to illness and disability than younger adults. Medicare does not cover several essential services that older adults need, such as dental care and vision care. This leaves many older adults with limited options for affordable care. The cost of health care is a pressing concern for older adults, and it is an issue that will likely impact their choices in the upcoming elections.