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Does Medicare actually provide universal, affordable healthcare?


Enrolling in Medicare doesn’t eliminate the burden of medical expenses for some, according to a new study led by Jeanne Madden , associate professor of pharmacy and health systems sciences at Northeastern.

More than one in 10 Medicare recipients surveyed reported having problems paying medical bills, and about the same proportion reported having delayed care due to worries about cost. Many of the people who reported those concerns had lower incomes, worse health, or were eligible for Medicare due to long-term disability.

“There’s this serious concentration of unaffordability among people who don’t have money or who have very high healthcare needs,” Madden says. “Most people know that Medicare is good insurance and it’s this safety net for these groups, and we tend to think that they’re sort of taken care of … It’s considered a universal program. But that doesn’t make it equitable.” Jeanne Madden, associate professor of pharmacy and health systems sciences in the School of Pharmacy, Bouvé College of Health Sciences, at Northeastern University. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University In the study, Madden and her colleagues found that enrollees over the age of 65 with an annual income between $15,000 and $25,000 a year were twice as likely to […]

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